Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here on Tuesday that the Italian marines Massimilano Lattore and Salvatore Girone accused of murdering two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast should be tried in India under the Indian law.
Talking to the media after a meeting of the Cabinet, the Chief Minister said the Italian government’s stance that the marines would not return to India for trial was unacceptable. They are accused of having committed a crime here and the matter comes under Indian jurisdiction.
The Chief Minister said he had communicated his government’s protest by fax to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid. He would take up the matter personally with them while in New Delhi on Wednesday. Consultations would be held with Kerala’s lawyers on the legal options before the government.
He recalled that Kerala had objected to the Supreme Court granting permission to the marines to leave for Italy on a guarantee provided by the Italian Ambassador to India who was not subject to jurisdiction of Indian courts owing to diplomatic immunity.
Ganesh Kumar issue
Replying to questions, Mr. Chandy said the report that the Minister for Forest and Cinema K.B. Ganesh Kumar having been manhandled in his residence was false. “No such incident has taken place. I had informed the UDF liaison committee of this in the presence Government Chief Whip P.C. George [who raised the allegation].”
Contradicting the Chief Whip’s statement, the Chief Minister said the Minister’s wife had not given any written complaint to him about the Minister, though she had met and talked to him.
He said he had no information that People’s Democratic Party leader and an accused in the Bangalore bomb blast case Abdul Nasir Maudani, who was on bail to attend his daughter’s wedding, had broken any bail condition. He had made only a customary speech at the wedding, he added.