India on Thursday has expressed its disapproval over the European Parliament adopting a resolution calling for the repatriation of two Italian marines currently the subject of a legal case in the Supreme Court over the killing of two fishermen in February 2012.
After the resolution was adopted on Wednesday night, the Indian embassy in Brussels noted that the case was sub judice and was being discussed between the two countries. The Supreme Court had granted three months extension to one of the marines in Italy on health grounds.
The other marine, the embassy noted, was living in the Italian embassy in New Delhi.
“Under these circumstances, the European Parliament would have been well advised not to adopt the Resolution”, a statement from the embassy said.
The European Parliament resolution hoped that the ‘diplomatic dispute’ between Italy and India will soon be settled, ‘under Italian jurisdiction and/or through international arbitration’. Members called for the marines to be repatriated, as their detention without charge was a ‘serious breach of human rights’, it said.
In the joint resolution approved by a show of hands, Members of the European Parliament expressed ‘great sadness’ at the death of the two Indian fishermen, but also expressed ‘grave concerns’ about the detention of the marines.
"We have to ensure that the principles of international law are complied with and I think that the fate of the two marines will be linked to the credibility of our anti-piracy efforts" said EU foreign affairs High Representative Federica Mogherini in the debate on Wednesday night.
A release from the European Parliament said MEPs stressed that restrictions on the marines’ freedom of movement represented ‘a serious breach of their human rights’ and asked for their repatriation.
They also backed the positions stated by Italy on the 2012 incident and hoped that ‘jurisdiction will fall to the Italian authorities and/or international arbitration’.
Italy asserts that the incident took place in international waters and that the marines should therefore be tried in Italy or in an international court; whereas India maintains that it can try the marines because it took place in coastal waters under Indian jurisdiction.
Members asked Mogherini to take all necessary steps to protect the two Italian marines and stated their support for the efforts of all parties involved to work towards a mutually acceptable solution, the release added.