Italy's decision upsets Kerala

 Kerala was on Tuesday shocked by Italy’s decision not to return the two marines to face trial for killing its fishermen and said the Centre’s haphazard handling had allowed the country to hold them back.

By not surrendering the marines, the state said Rome had made a mockery of its earlier statement that it “honours Indian judicial system and its court.”

Former Supreme Court judge and noted jurist V R Krishna Iyer said the President “can take action against Italian ambassador to India who stands as surety to the marines.”
Calling Italy’s decision “unacceptable,”  Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said he would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to register the state’s protest.

He said Kerala objected to the high court and Supreme Court decisions to allow the marines back home on both occasions as it would not be possible to take action against the Italian ambassador, “who is protected by the diplomatic immunity in the event they did not return.”

“We still stick to our stand that the case be tried by Indian court,” Chandy said. “The state will explore legal means of bringing back the marines.”

CPM politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan demanded the arrest of the Italian ambassador.

Dora, wife of Gelastine, one of the fishermen shot dead by the marines, accused the Centre of colluding with the Italians.

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