Italy recalls Delhi envoy for talks on marines

Italy recalls Delhi envoy for talks on marines

 After the Supreme Court on Tuesday deferred hearing in the trial of the two Italian Navy personnel to February 24, Rome termed the postponement as “unacceptable” and went on to note the “manifest inability” of judicial authorities of India in handling the case.

New Delhi’s envoy to Rome, Basant Kumar Gupta, was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Italian government, which also recalled its own ambassador to India, Daniele Mancini, for consultation.

“Italy takes note of the new unacceptable deferment ruled this morning by the Indian Supreme Court in the case of Italian marines, (Massimiliano) Latorre and (Salvatore) Girone, and the manifest inability of Indian judicial authorities in handling the case,” Emma Bonino, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Italy, said in Rome.

Her statement was put up on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Italian government soon after the Supreme Court of India gave the government time till February 24 to clarify if a tough anti-piracy law would be invoked against the marines, who are accused of killing two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala in February 2012.

“The Italian government ordered the immediate recall of the Italian Ambassador in New Dehli, Daniele Mancini, for consultations in Rome,” Bonino said in Rome.

The Supreme Court deferred the hearing till February 24 after Attorney General G E Vahanvati submitted before a bench headed by Justice B S Chauhan that the government was waiting for the opinion of the Ministry of Law and Justice on the issue of invoking the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act (or the SUA Act). Vahanvati also submitted before the Supreme Court that the opinion of the Ministry of Law and Justice might come on Friday.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs secretary-general Michele Valensise said that Rome would proceed with renewed vigour in its efforts in all forums to protect the position of its marines and would continue to insist on respect for international law.

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