A court in Qatar has handed death penalties to eight former Indian Navy officers, who were working for a Qatari company, for selling military secrets to Israel, sending New Delhi on a diplomatic roller-coaster ride as it has vowed to challenge the verdict. 

The Indian foreign ministry, while deeming the judgment “shocking,” acknowledged the confidential nature of the proceedings and expressed its intent to contest the case.These individuals, including officers who had previously commanded significant Indian warships, were employed by Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services, a private company providing training and related services to Qatar’s armed forces.Sources suggest that some were involved in a project concerning Italian technology-based midget submarines with stealth features.The accused have been detained since August 2022, and New Delhi has been striving to secure their release, having granted consular access to them.The trial took place in March, culminating in the recent death sentences.In response to the sentences, New Delhi said: “We have initial information that the Court of First Instance of Qatar has today passed a judgment in the case involving 8 Indian employees of Al Dahra company.”They added that they were deeply shocked by the verdict of the death penalty and were awaiting the detailed judgment. “We are in touch with the family members and the legal team, and we are exploring all legal options,” they added.“We are very important to this case and have followed it closely. We will continue to extend all consular and legal assistance. We will also take up the verdict with Qatari authorities.“Due to the confidential nature of proceedings of this case, it would not be appropriate to make any further comment at this juncture.”

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