Philippines ‘categorically denies’ spying on Qatar

The denial follows the conviction of three Filipinos in Qatar who were found guilty of leaking information that threatened Qatar's national security.

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MANILA // The Philippines denied it was spying on Qatar on Tuesday, after three Filipinos were convicted of espionage in the Gulf state.

One man was sentenced to death and two to life in jail after a court found them guilty of leaking information that could threaten Qatar’s national security, foreign department spokesman Charles Jose said.

“We are categorically denying that we are engaged in espionage,” Mr Jose said when asked about the case.

Mr Jose declined to make public other details of the case, but referred journalists to reports in the Doha media for further information.

According to Doha News, the Filipinos were charged with leaking information about weaponry, aircrafts, maintenance and servicing records between 2009 and 2010 to intelligence officials in the Philippines.

It said the man who received the death penalty worked at a major state-run Qatari company and spied for a “state security force” in the Philippines, while two others who were sentenced to life imprisonment were technicians with Qatar Air Force.

The main defendant had reportedly given copies of projects tenders to companies, as well as classified information about Qatar Air Force base to Filipino officials, according to Doha News.

The accounts could not be independently verified.

* Agence France-Presse