Marines row: No diplomatic immunity for Italian envoy?



Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Left red-faced after the Italian government refused to send two marines back to India to face manslaughter charges, the UPA government is mulling various options to salvage the situation.

Reports said on Wednesday that the government will move an application in the Supreme Court against the Italian Ambassador as he had given an undertaking to the court that the Italian nationals will come back to India after casting vote in the recently held elections in their country.

The Italian envoy should not be allowed to invoke diplomatic immunity since he gave a sovereign undertaking to the Supreme Court and has violated it, they said.

The two Italian marines, Salvatore Latorre and Massimiliano Girone, charged with homicide for killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast in February 2012 after mistaking them for pirates, were permitted by the Supreme Court to go to Italy for four weeks to vote in last month's election.

The two were allowed to go home during Christmas. They returned to India on the expiry of their leave.

Even as pressure is mounting on the UPA government, Italian Ambassador to India Daniele Mancini today said Rome is not an enemy of New Delhi, and added that this case should be solved by consensual means.

"We are a friendly government to the Government of India. We are not an enemy. We want to work with the Indian Government in all possible manners. And, we have been consistent since day one. It is for us, I mean the supremacy of an international law, to be reassessed," said Mancini.

In Parliament, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh asserted there will be consequences if the Italian government does not respect its commitment and return the two marines to India.

Singh told the Parliament that there can be no two opinions about the actions that have been taken by the Italian government on the matter raised by the members.

"Our government has already made it clear that these actions of the Government of Italy are not acceptable. They violate every rule of diplomatic discourse and call into question solemn commitments given by accredited representatives of a sovereign government to our Supreme Court," said Dr Singh.