Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Saturday shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking the Indian government to build international pressure for a fair trial in Italy in connection with the shooting of two Indian fishermen by Italian marines in February 2012. The International Tribunal on Law of the Sea (ITLOS) ruled earlier this week that the Italian marines who shot and killed the two Indian fishermen off the waters near Kerala held ‘immunity’ and therefore would face a trial in Italy, not India.
The chief minister said the grave crime committed against the two Indian citizens ‘is not being brought to justice’ in the country and that the matter deserved a more cautious and sensitive handling from the beginning.
“Whatever be the technicalities of the international conventions, the decision of the ITLOS has resulted in added grief to the bereaved families and the people of Kerala. I wish to convey our strong feelings on this issue, ” he wrote in the letter.
Kerala CM @vijayanpinarayi writes to PM @narendramodi over the ITLOS award in #ItalianMarines case expressing unhappiness over the way case was handled . Says the matter needed a “more sensitive and cautious handling from the beginning” @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/4aQAuhKdzT
— Liz Mathew (@MathewLiz) July 4, 2020
“If the award of the Arbitral Tribunal is not appealable As stated by the Central Government in the affidavit filed before the Supreme CourtCourt, Government of India should take earnest efforts to build international pressure for a fair trial in Italy. ”
Vijayan said India must bargain for an exemplary amount of compensation and keep the option of approaching ITLOS within the stipulated time of one year if getting adequate compensation is not possible through negotiations.
The tribunal acknowledged India’s argument that the marines on board ‘Enrica Lexie’ had violated the freedom of navigation rights under the UNCLOS by shooting at the fishermen on the boat.
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