DOHA: A death sentence handed to a Filipino in Qatar for spying was reduced on appeal by a Doha court on Sunday to life imprisonment.
Two other sentences of life imprisonment against another pair of defendants, also from the Philippines, were reduced at the same time by Qatar’s Court of Appeal to 15 years in jail.
One of the men sentenced to serve 15 years was identified as Ronaldo Lopez Ulep.
All three were convicted last year on charges of espionage and passing on Qatar military and economic secrets to the Philippines government.
The unnamed defendant who was originally sentenced to death is likely to spend up to 25 years in prison.
He worked as a supervisor at Qatar Petroleum.
The other two defendants worked for the Qatar Air Force.
At the time of their conviction, it was alleged that the two men working for the air force supplied information to the third man for cash.
Following Sunday’s brief hearing, the Philippines ambassador to Qatar, Wilfred C. Santos, said the reduction in sentences was “welcome” but a further appeal may take place.
“We will continue to monitor the case. We are willing to exhaust all legal avenues,” he said.
Manila has “emphatically” denied spying on Qatar.
All three men have been detained since 2010.
The case has raised concerns among rights groups, which question the convictions and allege the three men have been tortured while being detained.