Free Press Journal

Italian envoy in India called home for consultations


New Delhi: Italy Tuesday called its Ambassador to India, Daniel Mancini, for consultations on the trial of two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen with the country’s defence minister saying that Indian authorities have hit “the limit”.

The decision to call the envoy came on the day India’s apex court asked the government to clearly state its stand on the issue.

Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said in Rome Tuesday that the envoy has been called to Rome for “consultations” after India’s Supreme Court again delayed a ruling on the trial of the marines accused, ANSA reported.

The move comes a day after Mateo Renzi assumed office as Italy’s new prime minister. Informed sources in Rome said it was natural that he would want to be briefed on the case against the marines.

In New Delhi, the Supreme Court Tuesday asked the central government to categorically spell out its stand about the law under which the marines are to be tried.

An apex court bench headed by Justice B.S. Chauhan asked the government to spell out its stand in writing by next Wednesday, when it takes up the matter for further hearing.

Meanwhile Italian Defence Minister Mario Mauro said Tuesday that the Indian authorities have hit “the limit” with the latest delay by the Supreme Court of a ruling on the case.

“This measure is the limit and what’s even bigger is the indignation that has hit the whole nation and cannot fail to spread to the entire international community,” ANSA quoted Mauro as saying.

“There is no justice in this case. We are faced with ambiguous, unreliable behaviour on the part of the Indian authorities,” he added.

The marines, Massimilliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone, have been held in India since February 2012 when they allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen off the coast of the south Indian state of Kerala, mistaking them for pirates.

The marines were serving as security personnel on an Italian oil tanker crossing the Indian Ocean.

India claims jurisdiction in the case while Italy alleges the incident took place in international waters and the marines should be tried in their home country.