Don’t release marines without trial: Chandy

March 22, 2014 11:44 am | Updated November 16, 2021 06:37 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:

A file picture of Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

A file picture of Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not to succumb to the pressure of Italy to intervene the United Nations (U.N.) to secure the release of the Italian marines facing trial in the murder of two fishermen off the State’s coast. In a letter to Mr. Singh on Friday, the Chief Minister demanded that the two Italian marines should not be released without trial.

The Chief Minister wrote to Mr. Singh in the wake of reports that U.N. General Assembly president John Ashe, who is on a visit to the country, was likely to intervene in the case after being approached by Italy.

Italian Marines Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre had fired at the two fishermen without provocation on February 15, 2012. The Chief Minister said the people in the State were eagerly following each step of the Italian Marines’ issue.

“If the accused are released at the intervention of the U.N. or by any foreign nation, it will cause heavy prejudice and an insult to the judicial system of our country,” Mr. Chandy said in the letter.

The two fishermen, including one from Kerala, were killed in the firing. The Neendakara police had filed a case against the two marines and took them into custody. The High Court ratified the steps taken by the Kerala Police.

The accused had approached the Supreme Court against the High Court verdict. The apex court had handed over the case to NIA.

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