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Italy summons Indian envoy over marines

Posted on Dec 14, 05:48PM | IBNS

Italy on Thursday called Indian Ambassador to their country Debabrata Saha to express its concern over the two marines who are now languishing in Kochi owing to legal delays after they were arrested for gunning down two Indian fishermen mistaking them as sea pirates in February.

While the marines- Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone- got bail later by the Kerala High Court in May end, they were not allowed to go outside Kochi.

On Feb 15 this year, security officials of the Italian cargo vessel Enrica Lexie allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen mistaking them as pirates in the high seas off Ambalapuzha in Kerala. They- Latore and Salvatore- were subsequently arrested.

At the instructions from the Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi, the Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Michele Valensise, summoned Debabrata Saha Thursday and expressed profound dismay over the delay in the legal process in India.

"With profound dismay and concern we say that after more than three months after the conclusion of the hearing, the Supreme Court has not yet ruled on appeals from Italy," said the Italian foreign ministry in a statement.

Italy wants some legal progress before the holiday season (Christmas). Italy said if justice was delayed there would be negative consequences in combating piracy on high seas.

Italy demanded an urgent solution to the problem.

In May end, the two marines were granted bail by the Kerala High Court.

Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone were granted bail but they would not be allowed to leave Kochi, the court said.

They were also asked to deposit Rs 1 crore as personal bond.