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Will urge PM Modi to bring Italian marines back to India: Chandy

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Following the news that one of the two Italian marines – accused of murdering Indian fishermen off Kerala coast almost four years ago – will not return to India for their trial, Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to interfere and bring the culprits back to the country.

PTI2_19_2014_000100B“Italian naval officers committed crime on Indian land and they are liable to obey the Indian rules. The UDF Government had taken a very strong stand on this point and at the time the UPA Government gave us their full support. My only request to the Indian government is to take strong steps to bring these culprits to India and to ensure that trial continues under the Indian law,” Chandy said.

However, he asserted that he was not blaming anyone over the slow pace of the trial and said that he will urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi to interfere in the matter and take ‘strong steps’ to being the culprits back to India.

Earlier, a senator in Rome said that the two marines will not be returning to India to face trial after being allowed home temporarily for medical treatment.

“Massimiliano Latorre will not return to India, and furthermore, the possibility of asking for Salvatore Girone’s return is being explored,” said Nicola Latorre, president of the Senate Defence Committee.

India had granted Massimiliano Latorre, who suffered a stroke while in New Delhi in 2014, a period of leave in Italy for medical treatment, but he was supposed to return by Friday.

The two men say they accidentally killed two fishermen when they mistook a fishing boat for a pirate ship and fired warning shots while protecting an Italian oil tanker in 2012.

In 2013, Italy reversed an initial decision not to send the marines back to India to stand trial after a home visit, in a bid to tone down the diplomatic row.

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