Italy "disappointed" at India delay on marine trial

ROME Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:56am IST

1 of 2. Italian sailors Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre (L) walk inside the police commissioner office building in Kochi September 4, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Sivaram V/Files

Related Topics

ROME (Reuters) - Italy expressed "strong disappointment" on Friday that India's Supreme Court had delayed a decision on where two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen would face trial.

The sailors, members of a military security team protecting the cargo ship Enrica Lexie from pirate attacks, fired on a fishing boat they mistook for a pirate craft off Kerala in February, killing two.

"The Italian government expresses strong disappointment and profound bitterness for the delay, three months after court arguments have ended," Rome said in a statement on Friday.

Italy has challenged in the Supreme Court India's right to try the sailors, saying the shooting took place in international waters, outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.

Indian authorities accuse the sailors of killing unarmed fishermen in a "contiguous zone" where Indian law applies.

Italy summoned the Indian ambassador to urge India's Supreme Court to reach a decision before the year-end Christmas holiday.

Separately, the sailors filed a petition on Friday with the Kerala high court seeking permission to return temporarily to Italy for Christmas. They are out on bail in the Indian state but are not allowed to leave the country.

The Kerala court will consider their petition on Tuesday, the counsel for the sailors, P. Vijaya Bhanu, told Reuters. The Italian government has given an undertaking the marines would be in its custody during their stay and would take responsibility for their return to India.

In New Delhi, prosecutors and the sailors' defence lawyers said the case was unlikely to be heard before January 2 at the earliest.

The case has soured relations between Italy and India, with Rome insisting Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone should be tried at home.

Italy petitioned India's Supreme Court after the Kerala High Court held the marines were liable to be tried under Indian law. In India, states level judiciaries are responsible for law and order on their territory.

(Reporting by Catherine Hornby in Rome, Antonella Ciancio in Milan and D. Jose in Kerala; Writing by Catherine Hornby and Annie Banerji; Editing by Michael Roddy)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
KManoj wrote:
This is sick reporting – the sailors are accused of murder, there is no christmas spirit within perpetrators of such crimes. Indian court has already decided to try these sailors in india. It is sailors appeal against the decision. Does Italy’s confidence stems from their belief in Indian governments’ colonial hangover in dealing with white races, or that an italian-born heads the largest political party here?

Dec 16, 2012 5:02pm IST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

RBI Policy Review

RBI Policy Review

RBI keeps rates on hold, warns on inflation  Full Article 

Monsoon Season

Monsoon Season

India's 2014 monsoon ends with double-digit rain deficit .  Full Article 

Cleanliness Drive

Cleanliness Drive

Modi orders officials to clean loos on Gandhi's birthday.  Full Article 

Bid to Boost Trading

Bid to Boost Trading

RBI takes small steps to deepen markets.  Full Article 

Car Recall

Car Recall

Maruti Suzuki says to recall 69,555 cars.  Full Article 

China Factory Data

China Factory Data

China final HSBC PMI steady in September on stronger global demand but risks remain  Full Article 

Oil Demand

Oil Demand

India's thirst for oil grows even as China cuts back  Video 

EBay Divests PayPal

EBay Divests PayPal

EBay to spinoff PayPal in 2015  Full Article 

New 'Windows'

New 'Windows'

Microsoft names next operating system 'Windows 10'.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage