Date: Thursday, 23-February-2012, 9:31 AM | Message # 1
-- dragon lord--
Kottayam: A meeting between Italy's deputy Foreign Minister Staffan de Mistura and Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy on Wednesday night failed to end the standoff between India and Italy over the death of two Indian fishermen who were shot dead by two Italian marines off the coast of Kochi last week.
The Chief Minister has reportedly told the top Italian officials who visited him last night that there was "no room for diplomacy" in the matter. Italy's deputy Foreign Minister had requested his government to withdraw the murder case filed against the marines who were arrested on Sunday and are currently in police custody. Italy's efforts to convince the Centre on this issue had met with little success yesterday.
Emerging from an hour-long meeting, Mr Chandy told reporters that the fishermen were killed in a "brutal manner" and "we did not discuss" the compensation issue. The Italian side wanted to meet the relatives of the fishermen but was told that the situation is "not right" for it, Mr Chandy added. Earlier this week, Mr Chandy had termed the incident as a "cold-blooded murder" and had promised "strict legal action".
New Delhi makes it clear that government can't intervene
New Delhi has resisted pressure from Rome for a “midway formula,” telling the visiting Deputy Foreign Minister that the issue arising out the killing of two Indian fishermen by Italian marines will now be decided by court.
At a meeting with his counterpart Preneet Kaur, Staffan de Mistura was told that South Block would not be able to intervene because the matter had reached the courts which were “fair and independent.”
After the meeting, Ms. Kaur dwelt on the message given to Mr. de Mistuta, which may be repeated when the Italian Foreign Minister arrives here next week. “As far as the law is concerned, they have their interpretations and we have ours. As of today, the two [the marines] are on Indian soil, and tomorrow the Indian court is going to decide what steps are to be taken further.”
Sources privy to the meeting said the Italian Minister claimed that the Italian extra-territorial law should prevail. India has already said its laws also have a similar provision in case an Indian or an Indian vessel is attacked.