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Marines denied bail, Italy summons Indian envoy

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 19, 2012
First Published: 23:13 IST(19/5/2012) | Last Updated: 00:56 IST(20/5/2012)

Raising the diplomatic heat, the foreign ministry of Italy on Saturday summoned Indian envoy to Rome Debabrata Saha soon after a court in Kollam rejected the bail application of the two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala in February this year.


Italy is opposing the trial of  the marines under Indian laws, citing a host of reasons that New Delhi finds unacceptable. 

The foreign ministry "firmly signalled the unacceptable judicial developments related to the Italian sailors," a statement said.

"Sailors Salvatore Girone and Latorre Massimiliano, who were involved in an international anti-piracy effort, should be protected by immunity, and India has no jurisdiction over the incident, which occurred in international waters," the statement from the Italian side also said.

The external affairs ministry sources said the Indian envoy met the Director General of the Italian foreign ministry.

"The concern of the Italian government at the charges filed   against the marines in custody in Kerala was conveyed to him. The envoy assured that he would communicate these concerns to the appropriate authorities in India", MEA sources said.

Earlier in the day rejecting the plea of Mr Massimiliano and Mr Girone, who are lodged in a jail in India for the last three months, District and Sessions Judge PD
Rajan said releasing them from prison at this juncture might affect the progress of the case.

The marines, while on board Italian ship, Enrica Lexie, had allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen — Valentine Jalastine and Ajesh Bi — on February 15 mistaking them for pirates.
They were arrested on February 19 and sent to the Central Prison in Thiruvanathapuram. Police had on Friday filed the chargesheet in a court in Kollam.

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