Doha: The Qatar Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of two migrant laborers from Tamil Nadu who were charged with the murder of an elderly woman in 2012.
The court rejected the plea by the Indian Embassy in Doha to overturn the death penalty awarded to the duo, Alagappa Subramaniam of Villupuram and Chelladurai Perumal of Virudhunagar, but commuted the life term awarded to the third accused, Sivakumar Arasan of Salem, to 15 years’ imprisonment. The prosecution had sought capital punishment for him as well.
The trio, all in their early 40s, were put up at a labor camp near the victim’s house at Salatah. They were arrested on the basis of witness statements by the housemaid. They committed the crime in the month of Ramadan in 2012.
In its plea, the Indian Embassy challenged the verdict. According to the prosecution, the woman used to invite the accused home every day during Ramadan and offer them Iftar meals.
After grasping the layout of the house, the trio broke into the building at night for theft. Before they could make away with valuables, the woman woke up and caught them red-handed. In a bid to destroy evidence, they stabbed her to death. They dumped the body in the bathroom before escaping, the prosecution said.
The trio pleaded 'not guilty' in both the appeal and apex courts. However, family members of the victim stood firm demanding death sentence for all the accused.
The Indian Embassy in Doha took up the issue after former Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa, in an unprecedented move, sanctioned Rs9.5 lakh to meet the legal expenses of the TN men.