New Delhi: The eighth ex-Indian Navy veteran has "certain requirements to fulfil", the Ministry of External Affairs said on Friday, clarifying his status. He was put on death row by a Qatar court in an espionage case before being released.

In a press briefing on Friday, the official spokesperson of MEA, Randhir Jaiswal said, "Time and again I have conveyed that he has certain requirements to fulfil. As and when those requirements get fulfilled, he will come back. That is where the story is."

Amid desperate pleas by the anxious kin of the Navy veterans to secure their release and safe passage back to their homeland, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had assured that it would mobilise all diplomatic channels and arrange legal assistance to bring them back.

The Navy veterans--Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Saurabh Vasisht, Commander Purnendu Tiwari, Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, Commander Sugunakar Pakala, Commander Sanjeev Gupta, Commander Amit Nagpal and Sailor Ragesh--were detained in August 2022.

In an earlier briefing, Jaiswal had mentioned, "As you know, all 8 Indian nationals who were involved in the Al Dahra Global case, they have been released."

"Seven of them have returned to India...the eighth Indian national has certain requirements to fulfil. He will return as and when those are completed. So, that is where we are on the 8th national."

On December 28, 2023, Qatar's Court of Appeal commuted the death penalty awarded to all eight men in October 2023.

The eight Indian nationals, imprisoned in Qatar since October 2022, were accused of spying on a submarine program.

The retired naval personnel were sentenced to death by a Qatar court on charges that had not yet been made public officially.

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on the sidelines of the COP28 summit in Dubai and discussed bilateral partnerships and the "well-being of the Indian community" in Qatar.

This report is auto-generated from a syndicated feed