–FO says convicted RAW spy has decided to file mercy petition
–Indian lawyer likely to assist Pakistani counsel in case Jadhav decides to move IHC
ISLAMABAD: While refusing Pakistan’s offer to file an appeal in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against his conviction, Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav has decided to apply for a mercy petition, the Foreign Office said on Wednesday.
Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel — a serving commander of the Indian Navy associated with Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) — was arrested on March 3, 2016, from Balochistan while attempting to crossover into Pakistan through the country’s border with Iran. Subsequently, in April 2017, a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) handed him death sentence on charges of espionage and terrorism.
In a press conference here on Wednesday, Additional Attorney General (AAG) Ahmed Irfan and Director General (South Asia and SAARC) Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry said that an ordinance was promulgated by the government on May 20, which allowed the Indian government, Jadhav and his legal representative to file a review petition in IHC within 60 days, which is due to expire on July 19.
They said Indian authorities had requested to appoint an Indian counsel to advocate for Jadhav but if an appeal is filed in the IHC, only a lawyer that holds a license of the respective court would be able to represent the spy. Therefore, an Indian lawyer cannot advocate for the convicted spy but they may be allowed to assist Jadhav’s counsel.
Pakistan had allowed consular access to Jadhav twice in the past and has offered to do so again, the officials said. Authorities have also offered to arrange Jadhav’s meeting with his father and wife, they added. The two officials expressed hope that the Indian government will respond positively to this offer.
Both officials recalled that Pakistan had earlier allowed Jadhav’s mother and wife to meet him and said that the government had complied with the verdict of the International Court of Justice passed last year.
They said Pakistan had provided evidence of Indian state terrorism to the international community multiple times and will continue to do so.
On April 10, 2017, Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had endorsed the death penalty for Jadhav. In June 2017, the Indian spy had filed a mercy petition against the death penalty, in which he again confessed to his involvement in terrorist activities.
However, before Pakistani authorities could make a final decision, the ICJ, after being approached by India, had ordered a stay in his execution through an interim order in 2019.
Later that year, ICJ announced its verdict in the case, ruling that Jadhav be allowed consular access immediately and asking Pakistan to ensure “effective review and reconsideration of his conviction and sentences”.
The ICJ, however, rejected all other remedies sought by India, which included the annulment of the military court decision convicting Jadhav, restricting Pakistan from executing the sentence, securing Jadhav’s release and ordering his return to India.