Published On: Sat, May 24th, 2014

Philippine ‘spy’ sentenced to death in Qatar

 The Philippines confirmed on Friday, May 23, that a Qatari court sentenced a Filipino to death last April 30 “for espionage and economic sabotage” – charges which, a report said, implicate the Philippine government.

Two other Filipino men will suffer life imprisonment “for the same offense,” Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Charles Jose said in a text message.

Speaking to Doha News in Qatar, a source “close to their trial” said the 3 Filipinos “have been convicted of espionage for passing along military and economic secrets to their home government.”

Doha News said the Filipino sentenced to death is “reported to be a lieutenant in the Philippine state security force working as a budgeting and contracting supervisor at large state-owned Qatari company.”

It described the two others as “technicians working with the Qatar Air Force.”

The DFA has not confirmed, when asked through a text message, if the Filipino sentenced to death is indeed “a lieutenant in the Philippine state security force.”

Linked to Philippine intelligence?

“The men are reportedly accused of providing information to intelligence officials in the Philippines about Qatar’s aircrafts, weaponry, maintenance, and servicing records, as well as specific details about the names, ranks and phone numbers of staff members,” Doha News reported.

Their offenses reportedly took place between 2009 and 2010, it added.

Providing context, the Qatari news agency said: “This latest case illustrates the interest foreign firms and governments have in Qatar, which is rapidly building up its military as its economic might grows, and the unique vulnerability of a country so reliant on foreign labor that even potentially sensitive senior positions are held by expats.”

Despite these charges, Jose said a lawyer “assisted them throughout the lower court proceedings and the verdict was appealed before Qatar’s Court of Appeal last May 4.”

“As in other assistance-to-nationals cases, our embassy will continue to extend them assistance for as long as necessary,” he said. –