Qatar has freed eight former Indian navy officers who were sentenced to death on allegations of espionage for Israel.
India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) hailed Doha on Monday after the octet was released. The circumstances underlying their arrest, sentence, and commute remain unknown.
"We appreciate the decision by the Amir [Emir] of the State of Qatar to facilitate the release and return of these nationals," the ministry said in a statement in New Delhi.
The former Indian naval officers were reportedly detained in August 2022 after being accused of passing vital submarine-related information to Israeli intelligence. Neither Qatar nor India have publicly verified the claims.
Last year, a preliminary court sentenced them to death, leading India to express its dismay and launch an appeal.
The India's Ministry of External Affairs announced in December that it had obtained consular access to the convicts. Later that month, it was reported that an appeals court had mitigated their death sentence to various prison terms.
It stated on Monday that seven of the former Indian naval officers had already returned to India. No other information was provided regarding the eighth guy, the circumstances of his release, or the present state of the case.
The men's arrest last year made headlines in both Indian and Arab media.
The eight were senior members of Dahra Global Technologies and Consulting Services. According to unconfirmed Indian reports, the corporation was advising on a Qatari plan to acquire high-tech, Italian-made submarines capable of evading radar detection. The private company has now been shut down.
While the case momentarily strained ties, it looks unlikely to have a substantial impact on relations between New Delhi and Doha, which are close friends.
Both countries continue to have strong business ties. They inked a contract worth tens of billions of dollars last week to ensure Qatari liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies until the end of 2048.