Fishermen killing case: Two marines reach Delhi

New Delhi, March 22: The two marines charged with the killing of fishermen left Italy and reached Delhi, just in time to meet the deadline set by the Supreme Court for their return.

The move follows an assurance given by Italy to India at the highest level that the marines returned in accordance with the timeline set by the Supreme Court, an official spokesperson in the MEA said on Friday.

In an assurance given by Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini, the marines who were permitted by the Supreme Court to go to Italy for four weeks to vote in general elections, returned by Friday evening.

Italy had on Thursday night said that it will send back to India the two marines to face trial after receiving an assurance from the Indian government about the protection of their fundamental rights.

Italy's previous decision not to send marines - Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone - to face trial in the fishermen killing case triggered a diplomatic standoff, with the Indian Supreme Court barring the Italian ambassador from leaving the country.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had last week termed as "unacceptable" Italy's refusal to send its two marines back to India and said the issue will be taken up with that country.

India had withhold posting of its Ambassador-designate Basant Kumar Gupta to Rome and the Indian government had said further steps will be taken after completion of the review of bilateral ties with Italy.

The Italian government, which had given an undertaking before the court that the marines will be sent back, had on 11th March sent a note verbale to the Indian government informing it that the two will not be sent back.

On 18th January, the apex court had turned down the Italian government's plea that the Indian courts had no jurisdiction in the case and had held that the two marines should be tried by a special court constituted by the Centre.

It had directed that the two be shifted to Delhi and would remain under it's 'custody' till the special court is set up.

The two marines were on board an Italian vessel 'Enrica Lexie' when they allegedly shot dead two fishermen off the Kerala coast on 15th February, last year.

Marines will not face death, India assures Italy

As Italy reversed its decision of not sending back its two marines, govt said India has given assurances to that country that they will not face death penalty and will not be liable for arrest if they return by the deadline of today set by the Supreme Court.

Hours after Italy made the announcement that the marines will return to face trial, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid told Parliament that India had given assurances after clarifications were sought on death penalty which was a concern to that country.

Making identical statements in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on Friday, he expressed happiness that the matter was being brought to a satisfactory conclusion and the trial will now proceed as per the directions of the Supreme Court.

Khurshid said the government was informed through a diplomatic approach that Italy would be willing to send the two marines back to India as per its commitment to face trial in the case of killing two fishermen in February last year.

"It sought from India clarifications regarding the conditions applicable to the marines on their return and the provisions regarding the death penalty that could be applicable in this case which was an Italian concern.

"Notwithstanding the pending proceedings, the Government has informed the Italian Government that the two marines will not be liable for arrest if they return within the time frame laid down by the Supreme Court of India," he said.

The Supreme Court had allowed the marines to go to their home country for four weeks to cast votes in general elections. The four-week period expires Friday.

India also allayed Italy's fears by saying that "according to well settled Indian jurisprudence, this case would not fall in the category of matters which attract the death penalty, that is to say the rarest of rare cases. Therefore, there need not be any apprehension in this regard," Khurshid said.

At the same time, the External Affairs Minister said the Supreme Court had ruled that India has the jurisdiction over the case and the marines -- Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Giron -- shall "once again be bound by the conditions contained in the order" passed by the Court on 18th January.

"The Supreme Court, in its order dated 18 January 2013, in a writ petition filed by the Italian marines and the Republic of Italy raising several jurisdictional issues, had ruled, inter alia, that India has jurisdiction," Khurshid said.

He pointed out that the SC had also ruled that "the matter will be put before a Special Court to be set up by the Union of India in consultation with the Chief Justice of India to try this case and to dispose of the same in accordance with the provisions of the Maritime Zones Act, 1976, the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the provisions of UNCLOS 1982, where there is no conflict between the domestic law and UNCLOS 1982."

In his statement, Khurshid gave details of the sequence of events related to the case.

He noted that after Italy told India on 11th March that the marines will not return on the expiration of the permission granted to them, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had stated that Italy should respect the undertaking given to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court, in its order of 22nd January, had allowed the marines to travel to Italy and the Italian government gave an undertaking to it that the marines "will be kept under its constant custody, supervision and control during this period and took full responsibility for securing" their return to New Delhi "on or before the expiry of the period permitted by the court".

Posted by Unknown on 03:48. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

0 comments for Fishermen killing case: Two marines reach Delhi

Leave comment


Courtesy:ISTV Imphal


2010 BlogNews Magazine. All Rights Reserved. - Designed by SimplexDesign