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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 27 February 2024 10.11 PM IST

Qatar releases eight former Indian navy personnel including a Malayali jailed on espionage charges

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NEW DELHI: Former Indian navy personnel jailed in Qatar have been released. Eight including Rakesh Gopakumar, a Malayali, have been acquitted in a case of suspected espionage. Qatar arrested them in 2022 on charges of espionage.


Apart from Rakesh Gopakumar, Navtej Singh Gill, Birendra Kumar Verma, Saurabh Vashisht, Amit Nagpal, Purnendu Tiwari, Sugunakar Pakala and Sanjeev Gupta were arrested. There are reports that seven of the eight have returned to India. India welcomed Qatar Emir's decision to release the personnel.


‘The Government of India welcomes the release of eight Indian nationals working for the Dahra Global company who were detained in Qatar,’ said Ministry of External Affairs.
‘Seven out of the eight of them have returned to India. We appreciate the decision by the Emir of the State of Qatar to enable the release and home-coming of these nationals," the ministry said in a brief statement.

The Government of India welcomes the release of eight Indian nationals who worked for Al Dahra Global Company and detained in Qatar. Seven of the eight have returned to India.


All eight are officials of the Doha-based company Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy. After serving in important positions in the Indian Navy, they joined work in Qatar after retirement. They were accused of leaking information related to the Italian submarine.

Qatar's Court of First Instance awarded death sentence to the personnel on October 26.


The Court of Appeal in the Gulf nation on December 28 commuted the death penalty and sentenced them to jail terms for varying durations.


The personnel were arrested in August 2022 on charges of espionage.

Neither the Qatari authorities nor New Delhi made the charges against the Indian nationals’ public.


The charges were filed against the eight Indian Navy veterans on March 25 last year and they were tried under Qatari law.


After the death sentence was commuted, they were given 60 days to appeal against the order of their jail terms.


In May last year, Al-Dhara Global closed its operations in Doha and all those working there (primarily Indians) have since returned home.

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TAGS: QATAR, RELEASES, EIGHT, FORMER, INDIAN NAVY PERSONNEL, MALAYALI, ESPIONAGE CHARGES
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