The Italian government Tuesday summoned the Indian Ambassador in Rome Basant Kumar Gupta to express “dismay” at the “unacceptable delay” in trying two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen two years ago. It also called its envoy in New Delhi, Daniele Mancini, to Rome for consultations.
Gupta, summoned by the Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Michele Valensise, was told the case “shows an Indian desire to draw out the affair beyond all limits”, Italian news agency ANSA reported.
Italy’s reaction came hours of the Supreme Court in New Delhi postponing till February 24 hearing involving marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, facing murder charges. Latorre and Girone are facing trial for allegedly killing two Indian fishermen in February 2012.
Earlier in the day, ANSA reported that Italy had recalled its ambassador in New Delhi for consultations and criticised the authorities for “ambiguous and unreliable” behaviour.
In New Delhi, sources said Ministry of External Affairs has not been informed by Italy. There is no need for the Italian government to inform MEA, if they are calling their Ambassador for consultations, they said.
Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said, “The Italian government ordered immediate recall of its Ambassador in India, Daniele Mancini, for consultations.”
“The main objective of Italy is to get the return of the two Riflemen…,” Banino said, adding given “inability of India to manage the affair, Italy will continue and intensify its commitment to recognition of their rights as a sovereign state in accordance with international law.”
“Rome will decide in the coming hours the line to get in front of this situation,” ANSA reported, quoting Italian government representative dealing with the marines issue, Staffan De Mistura.
Italian Defence Minister Mario Mauro said, “The decision of the Italian government to recall the Ambassador to Italy is not only justified but unavoidable and reflects sentiment of our people.”
“The measure is full and even greater is the outrage… across the nation and which cannot propagate to the entire international community. Upon this case there is no justice, we are faced with a behaviour ambiguous and unreliable by the Indian authorities,” Mauro was quoted as saying.
The assailants then got into the car in which they came and drove off.