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"What kind of justice system is this?": Congress MP Manish Tewari on 8 former Navy men on death row in Qatar
New Delhi: Congress leader Manish Tewari on Saturday came down heavily on the Qatari jurisprudence or the system of dispensing justice over the death sentence to eight retired Indian Navy personnel, calling it 'arbitrary' and 'capricious'.
The eight former naval personnel were sentenced to death by the Court of First Instance of Qatar.
Taking to social media platform X (formerly Twitter), Tewari, a former Union Minister, said, "These 08 decorated Naval Personnel are being subjected to Kangaroo Trial".
Pointing to six points of contention in the sentencing of the former naval officers, the Congress leader added in his tweet, "The midnight arrests were illegal. The 12-month-long solitary confinement was illegal. Confessions have been obtained by duress under brutal torture. No Charges have been made public. The Judgement of the Court of First Instance has not been made public. I have been informed that even family members are being told to travel to Doha and sign a non-disclosure agreement with the Defence Lawyer to even see/read the judgement."
"What kind of a Justice system is this?" he questioned, stating further that the Qatari system can't be trusted when it comes to ensuring a fair trial.
The former Union minister sought urgent political intervention at the "highest level" to bring the Indians on death row back.
"This matter requires political intervention at the highest level to bring these 08 men back home," the Rajya Sabha MP said in his post, adding, "Trusting an arbitrary and capricious justice system may not be the best idea unless the 'ask' is to get the Appeals Court to execute a command performance at the best of the 'powers that be' in Qatar".
The eight former Indian Navy personnel were employees of Dahra Global, a Doha-based private defence services provider. They were arrested in August 2022 for alleged espionage.
India called the ruling 'deeply shocking' and deployed all diplomatic channels to engage with Qatar on this case.
Earlier on Friday, a Qatari court accepted the appeal document on the sentencing of eight former Indian naval personnel to death, sources familiar with the matter said.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), on November 9, stated that the judgment remains "confidential", adding that an appeal was filed in the case.
The MEA also urged everyone to refrain from "engaging in speculation" due to the sensitive nature of the case, adding that the Indian embassy received another consular access on November 7.
Earlier, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also met the family members of the eight naval personnel, assuring them of full government support.