Evading justice has been the game plan

Evading justice has been the game plan

Despite the initial impressions that it was ‘honouring’ Indian justice system, Italy had been working slowly and decisively towards prying loose the marines who had been caught with unquestionable evidence of their crime.

The first and the important effort of the Italian government had been to win the backing of Kerala’s Latin church, apparently with the backing of the church at home, a logical step since the victims belonged  to fishermen community that follows the church.

Union Food Minister K V Thomas, a member of the Latin church, helped them get in touch with Kerala’s clergy, which enabled Italy to sign a compensation agreement with the victim’s heirs.

Experts say that the compensation of Rs 1 crore for each family is inadequate and could have  gone up to Rs 5 crore if negotiated properly.

This way, Italy managed to contain the protest by the fishermen community, for whom Rs 1 crore is a huge amount.

The compensation would also free the marines from the murder charges said to have been registered against them in their country.

The church and fishermen organisations gradually turned neutral in the issue, if not pro-Italy.

Italy then mounted pressure on Indian government to relieve the marines from the case on the basis of the compensation. When it did not work, they tried to secure bail, which Kerala High Court had granted.

The next move was to secure release for the marines to spend Christmas at home, in which the Italians succeeded.

The move was also hailed by the church.