India and the Maldives had reached an agreement that the Indian soldiers operating the three aircraft would be replaced with non-military technical personnel.
The eight former Naval officers, who have been imprisoned in Qatari jails, have been given consular access and Indian Embassy officials, including Ambassador Vipul, have met them, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday.
Addressing a press conference, MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said that a legal team is looking into the appeal aspect as 60 days have been provided to file the same.
“Our ambassador, along with our embassy officials, met the eight detained. As we had conveyed to you last time, the legal team is looking into the appeal aspect. There is a period of 60 days within which they have to file this appeal,” Jaiswal said.
“On December 28, the court of appeal had given their verdict. Now, the matter is to go to the court of secession, which will be decided by the legal team…We still have some time. The consular access we had, our ambassador went and met and looked after their well-being,” he said.
The former Indian Navy officers have been jailed since October 2022 on charges of spying on a submarine programme. The charges against them, have not yet been made public officially.
The retired naval personnel were initially sentenced to death by a Qatar court. However, the court commuted their death penalty and reduced it to jail terms.
Describing the judgement, the Ministry of External Affairs said, “We have noted the verdict today of the Court of Appeal of Qatar in the Dahra Global case, in which the sentences have been reduced.”
The MEA also said that the detailed judgement in the case is awaited and are in close touch with the legal team in Qatar.