The International Court of Justice will start hearing the Kulbhushan Jadhav case from February 18 to 21 next year at The Hague, more than a year after it stayed the former Indian navy officer’s execution by Pakistan. A press statement issued on Wednesday by the United Nations’ principal judicial organ said the hearings will be streamed live on the court’s website and UN Web TV, the UN’s online television channel.
Jadhav (47) has been accused by Pakistan of espionage and being involved in sabotage activities in Balochistan province. He was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April 2017, which prompted India to move the ICJ against the verdict. Jadhav’s execution was halted pending final judgment in the case.
India and Pakistan have already submitted their detailed pleas and responses in the international court. Pakistan says that its security forces arrested Jadhav from the Balochistan province in March 2016 after he reportedly entered the country from Iran. In its submission to the ICJ, Pakistan had stated that Jadhav is not an ordinary person as he had entered the country with the intent of spying and carrying out sabotage activities.
India denies all the charges and maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after his retirement from the Navy, and that he has no links with the government. The issue of Pakistan granting consular access to Jadhav has become a sore point between the two countries after multiple requests by India were rejected.