Qatar Reduces Death Sentences For Eight Indian Naval Officers Caught Spying For Israel

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In a significant development, Qatar has reduced the death sentences imposed on eight Indian former naval officers who were convicted on espionage charges.

The foreign ministry of India confirmed the news on Thursday, stating that the sentences had been “reduced” but did not provide any further details.

The eight officers were originally sentenced to death in October 2023, following a trial that was shrouded in secrecy.

The charges against them were never officially disclosed, but unnamed sources cited by The Financial Times and Reuters claimed that they had been found guilty of spying for Israel while working on a Qatari submarine programme.

India expressed “deep shock” at the time of the verdict and vowed to explore all legal options to challenge the decision. The country’s strong diplomatic ties with Qatar were reportedly strained by the case.

Qatar, which rarely carries out the death penalty, has executed only one person since 2003, according to The Financial Times. The reduced sentences for the Indian officers could be seen as a move to ease tensions between the two countries.

India is Qatar’s largest trading partner, importing significant quantities of liquefied natural gas from the Gulf state. The country also hosts over 800,000 Indian nationals, who make up a significant portion of the migrant labor workforce.

The lifting of the death sentences is a positive step towards resolving this diplomatic issue, and it remains to be seen whether the two countries will be able to fully mend their relationship.

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