Italy has summoned India’s Ambassador here to insist that the Supreme Court issue a decision soon on its two Marines detained since February for the deaths of two Indian fishermen mistaken for pirates.

Italy maintains the shooting occurred in international waters and that as a result Rome should have jurisdiction.

India claims the ship was in Indian territorial waters. The Supreme Court is yet to decide on Italy’s petition to try the sailors at home.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said it was “profoundly bewildered” why the court hadn’t ruled even though arguments ended three months ago. It asked for a decision before Christmas.

The sailors were on security duty on a cargo ship when they allegedly shot the fishermen. The dispute has strained diplomatic relations. — AP

Seek permission to visit families

Kochi Special Correspondent reports:

The Kerala High Court on Friday adjourned to December 18 the hearing on a petition filed by the Marines seeking permission to visit their country for two weeks.

Massimilano Lattore and Salvatore Girone are out on bail.

Justice N.K. Balakrishan adjourned the case to enable the State and Central governments to express their views.

The petitioners wanted the court to relax the bail conditions and allow them to go to their country. They said they had been complying with the bail conditions and cooperating with the police and other government agencies. They were not able to visit their friends and family members for the past 10 months.

They wished to visit their homes for Christmas and spend time with their family.

They pointed out that the trial was stayed until further order by the High Court. Besides, the Supreme Court had reserved its order on a petition challenging the jurisdiction of the Indian courts to adjudicate the case.

The petitioners undertook in the petition that they would return to India.

Italy had taken full responsibility to ensure that the petitioners would comply with the orders of the High Court.

They also sought a directive to release the passports from the custody of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kollam.

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