Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Watch ICJ verdict live on webtv.un.org
The proceedings at the UN Court in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case can be watched live on webtv.un.org.
The Hague/New Delhi: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Hague is scheduled to deliver its verdict in Kulbhushan Jadhav case on Wednesday. Jadhav, a 49-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, was awarded death penalty by a Pakistani military court in April 2017 on charges of "espionage and terrorism" after a closed trial. The death sentence handed to Jadhav evoked a sharp reaction in India, forcing the Indian government to approach the ICJ in order to stop Islamabad from executing the order of its military court.
India has challenged the "farcical trial" that Kulbhushan Jadhav was put through on the basis of what it claims was an extracted confession and has asked the world court to order Pakistan to annul the sentence and allow India consular access.
Earlier this month, the ICJ had released a statement saying that a public sitting in Jadhav's case will take place at 3 pm (6.30 pm IST) on July 17 at the Peace Palace in the Hague. The verdict in the case will be read out by ICJ's top judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf.
Last week, Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Muhammad Faisal had said that Islamabad cannot "prejudge" the ICJ's decision in this case. Faisal, however, asserted that Pakistan has argued its case well before the ICJ.
Kulbhushan Jadhav, 49, was arrested by Pakistan in March 2016 and accused of "espionage", a charge which India has rubbished.
A year later, Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court. A month after the former officer's death sentence, India took Pakistan to the world court, and the execution was stayed in May 2017.
Pakistan claims that its security forces had arrested Jadhav from Balochistan province on March 3, 2016, after he entered the country from Iran.
India claimed that Jadhav was instead kidnapped from Iran, where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.
In ICJ hearings, India had accused Pakistan of denying consular access to Jadhav in violation of the Vienna Convention.
Pakistan countered that Jadhav had been found guilty of "spying and terrorism".
The ICJ had held a four-day public hearing in the high-profile case in February, which coincided with heightened tensions between India and Pakistan over the death of 40 CRPF soldiers in the Pulwama terror attack.
India accused Pakistan of using Jadhav as a "pawn" to divert attention from its own conduct - state sponsorship of terrorism.
India also accused Pakistan of harassing Jadhav's wife and mother during a meeting held on December 25, 2017, in Islamabad.
The retired Navy officer had simply "parroted Pakistani propaganda" and his conversation with his family was "tutored and designed to perpetuate the false narrative of his alleged activities in Pakistan," India had said.