Italy sends ‘crisis manager’,foreign minister to follow

Arrested marines to move Kerala HC to seek quashing of FIR

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Published:February 22, 2012 12:52 am

With New Delhi asserting that there will be “no political compromise”,Italy is fielding its best negotiator — who has worked in crisis hotspots across the world for the UN — for securing the release of the two Italian mariners charged with killing two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast.

Staffan de Mistura,Under-Secretary of State in the Italian Foreign Ministry,will be coming to Delhi on Wednesday to hold talks with the Indian government officials here. He is expected to be followed by Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi,who is likely to come on February 28.

Government sources told The Indian Express that New Delhi would not reach any “political compromise”,and that “legal remedy” was the only option. The sources also said that since law and order was a “state subject”,the Kerala government was handling the case.

Italy now banks on Mistura,considered to be the best crisis manager in its government,to solve the current crisis.

The Italian Foreign Ministry’s press communique issued on Tuesday said Terzi gave instructions “to continue,at the political level,the action so far conducted by the Italian delegation of experts from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs,Defence and Justice,with the most high-level contacts,both within Kochi and New Delhi,where the minister will travel personally next Tuesday”.

Meanwhile,the Italian government would file a petition in the Kerala High Court on Wednesday,seeking quashing of the murder case,said advocate B Raman Pillai,counsel for the accused. According to sources,Italy would repeat its argument in the court that since the firing took place in international waters,Indian police and courts had no jurisdiction to try the case. On the other hand,a Karunagappally court has allowed the police to examine the guns suspected to have been used in the crime,while Dora,wife of deceased fisherman Jelestin,moved the court demanding that the ship,Enrica Lexie,should be released only after ensuring compensation.

With ENS,Kochi

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