Martedì, 23 Ottobre 2018

Friction rises, Italian ambassador told not to leave India


New Delhi, March 14 - A diplomatic rift between
India and Italy over two Italian marines accused of killing two
Indian fishermen widened Thursday when India's Supreme Court
ordered the Italian ambassador to New Delhi, Daniele Mancini, to
''not leave the country''.
The order follows the Italian government's decision not to
send the marines back to India after they were granted a permit
to come home to vote in last month's general elections.
The court also wrote to the two marines, Massimilano
Latorre and Salvatore Girone, asking them to clarify their
position, ANSA sources said.
The marines, who have been held in India since February
2012, were allowed to return to Italy for one month for national
elections held February 24-25.
Latorre and Girone, who are charged with homicide for
alleged shooting the fisherman while on an anti-piracy mission,
were supposed to return to India later this month.
The Italian government has always denied that India has
jurisdiction over the matter, as the incident took place in
international waters off the country's coast.
In its letter to the Italian ambassador, the Indian Supreme
Court said Mancini ''violated'' a ''sworn declaration''
presented on February 9 to the Indian government as ''a
guarantee of the marines' return''.
Along with the order to not leave the country, the Supreme
Court ordered the ambassador to offer explanations for Italy's
actions by March 18.
An earlier deal, which allowed the marines to return to
Italy for Christmas, was respected by both governments and was
seen as a positive step - as well as a sign of goodwill -
towards a diplomatic solution.
Commenting the developments on Thursday, Indian Foreign
Minister Salman Khurshid said that a decision regarding the
matter would ''be taken by the Supreme Court in collaboration
with the central government''.
The Indian government, Khurshid said, ''is following the
situation in collaboration with the Republic's central
In separate statements to journalists, Khurshid said: ''the
most important thing is to safeguard the dignity and the
feelings of the India''.
Some members of the Indian political establishment seem to
be using the diplomatic tussle over the marines to gain leverage
ahead of national elections scheduled to take place later this
On Thursday, Subramanian Swamy, president of the
opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, presented a petition to the
Supreme Court asking for legal action against the Italian
ambassador for the crime of ''contempt of court''.
The current government is led by the Congress Party, whose
president, Sonia Gandhi, the Italian wife of Rajiv Gandhi, a
former Congress leader and prime minister assassinated in 1991.

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