Indian state govt grants funds for defence of murder convicts in Qatar
July 28 2016 12:21 AM

By Ramesh Mathew / Staff Reporter

The provincial government of the southern Indian State of Tamil Nadu has sanctioned monetary assistance for the legal defence of the three Indian men who had been convicted for the murder of an elderly Qatari woman. The sensational murder took place towards the end of 2012 in Doha’s New Salata area.
Talking to the Gulf Times yesterday, S Suresh Kumar, an Indian lawyer who had visited Qatar a week ago to follow up the case, said the cheque for Rs9,50,000 (approximately QR51,000) has already been cleared by the Non Resident Indians (NRI) Cell of the Tamil Nadu government and forwarded to Delhi.
The money will be given to the Doha law firm which is filing an appeal against the Appeal Court’s verdict, that upheld the death sentence for two of the defendants. The sentence of one of the convicts has been reduced to life in jail. All the convicts came from three different districts of Tamil Nadu.
Kumar has been deputed by the South Asian Fishermen Fraternity (SAFF) for co-ordinating the case with the Doha firm. The lawyer had met two of the three convicts at Doha’s Central Prison during his visit.
Welcoming the decision of the Tamil Nadu government, Doha-based legal activist Nizar Kochery said it was the first time a state government in India has directly sanctioned monetary assistance for a case involving Indian expatriates in Qatar. Kochery said his firm has completed all formalities to file the appeal today as the last date for appeal is July 30.
Kochery also said the Indian embassy has confirmed about the financial assistance being provided for the legal proceedings.
A trial court had sentenced on December 31, 2014 all the three accused in the case to death. On May 30 this year, an Appeals Court upheld the lower court judgment for two of the convicts, Alagappa Subramaniam (of Virudhu Nagar district) and Chinnadurai Perumal (Villupuram), but commuted the death penalty of Sivakumar Arasan (Salem) to life sentence. The prosecution has filed an appeal at the Supreme Court seeking capital punishment to Arasan as well.
Meanwhile, it was reported in the Indian media that India’s ministry of external affairs would petition the Qatari authorities to spare the lives of the convicts.
The New Indian Express reported, quoting Rajammal, the wife of Perumal, that her husband had been suffering from a serious kidney ailment and needed regular dialysis. The woman also said she had recently undergone a surgery to remove a malignant tumour.

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