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Updated: April 10, 2013 05:16 IST

Monti calls up Manmohan again; NIA may not press for death penalty

    Sandeep Dikshit
    Sandeep Joshi
Comment (3)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Italian counterpart Mario Monti greet each other on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul on Monday.
PTI Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Italian counterpart Mario Monti greet each other on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul on Monday.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti called up his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on Tuesday for the second time in recent times, but received no firm assurance that the death penalty would not be imposed on two marines detained for killing two Kerala fishermen in February last year.

Dr. Singh, according to sources, was, however, more forthcoming on other details of the case, including the setting up of a special court. He appreciated Italy’s decision to send back the marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone to India in line with the commitments made before the Supreme Court. This step by Italy, he said, would enable the judicial process to move forward.

Dr. Singh recalled the recent conversation between External Affairs Minister Salman Khursheed and Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Staffan de Mistura. The Attorney-General would provide further details on special court in the Supreme Court on April 16.

The Prime Minister said that in view of pending investigations, it would be premature to take a view on specific aspects. This, the sources said, was a reference to Italian fears over the prosecution demanding death penalty to the marines.

Official sources said the Prime Minister recalled the clarifications provided by the External Affairs Ministry to Rome in its earlier communication prior to the return of the marines.

(Sources in the government said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) might drop certain provisions in the charge sheet to ensure that the death sentence was not awarded to the marines. “The NIA will not press for death sentence as per the assurance given by India to Italy even if they are convicted of murder,” a senior Home Ministry official said.)

The NIA has already booked the marines under the IPC Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 427 (mischief) and 34 (common intent). They were also charged under the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, 2002 that entails death sentence.

While thanking Dr. Singh for the update, Mr. Monti also conveyed his condolences on the death of five Indian peacekeepers in South Sudan.

The more the Italians try to interfere in a judicial process, the bigger the mess they are creating for themselves. There is no possibility that the death penalty will be imposed in what is worst is a case of using unwarranted force in a misguided self defence. Surely the Italians know that, and if they don't their diplomats should be sacked.

All this posturing only serves to keep the public alert for any possible tinkering to get the marines off.

from:  arun visvanathan
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 09:20 IST

There is no need for the Italian prime minister to bring pressure on Prime minister of
india. Our prime minister should tell him that we have an independent judiciary and
he can't influence them.

No assurances can be given as to the final verdict. If the marines are found to be
guilty they should face justice as is the case in US or any other European country.


from:  RK
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 03:40 IST

Now Italians feel that are trapped as they tried to deceive us.The punishment is a matter of concern but under the decision of the Court, yet to be formed.The fishermen in India need protection form the international sailors.As the rape and murder case in Delhi instigated the Central Government to make a special Law for the protection for women, so shall this marines' issue must inspire/persuade India to ensure the protection of Indians elsewhere.

from:  P Nasarudheen
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 22:04 IST
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