Giovedì, 20 Settembre 2018
VIENTIANE (LAOS)

Italian premier pressures India for decision on marines

English
© ANSA

Vientiane (Laos), November 6 - The Italian premier
urged India's newly appointed foreign minister on Tuesday to
help resolve the fate of two Italian anti-pirate marines
detained in India for criminal charges that include killing two
fishermen in February.
The exchange took place during a brief meeting between
Italian Premier Mario Monti and Indian Foreign Minister Salman
Khurshid on the margins of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in
Vientiane, according to a source close to the Italian
government.
The Italian premier reminded the Indian diplomatic chief
that the Italian government is still waiting for an Indian
Supreme Court ruling, and hoped it would allow a "positive"
solution in the case of the two marines, the source related.
The Indian minister expressed confidence the Indian Supreme
Court would very soon reach a decision, the source said.
Italian Foreign Minister Guilio Terzi has lobbied hard over
the last month to get an answer from India, and Italian
President Giorgio Napolitano ratified a bilateral agreement
last month that says convicted offenders can serve their
sentences in their country of origin.
Last week Terzi contacted Khurshid - just days after the
Indian diplomatic chief's appointment - to stress Italy's wish
to bring the two anti-pirate marines home.
India's Supreme Court has still not given its ruling - more
than a month later than originally indicated - on Italy's
petition that it should have jurisdiction over the case because
the incident took place on an Italian ship.
Marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone have been
at the centre of a diplomatic row between Italy and India since
being detained in February for the shooting of the two fisherman
in the southern port of Kerala, Jelestine Valentine and Ajesh
Binki.
The Italian government believes that, regardless of who has
jurisdiction, the marines should be exempt from prosecution in
India as they were military personnel working on an anti-piracy
mission.
They were granted bail in June, but must remain in Indian
territory.
Khurshid was named Indian foreign minister on October 29 by
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who reorganized roughly a third
of his cabinet in what was widely seen as a bid to regain
electoral support ahead of elections.

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