Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking the Indian government to build international pressure — in connection with the shooting of two Indian fishermen by Italian Marines in February 2012 — for a fair trial in Italy.
An international tribunal earlier this week ruled that the Italian Marines held immunity and will face a trial in Italy.
In his letter, the Chief Minister said the grave crime committed against the two Indian citizens “is not being brought to justice” in the country and the incident 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. “If the award of the Arbitral Tribunal is not appealable as stated by the Central government in the affidavit filed before the Supreme Court, 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 approach ITLOS within the stipulated time period if 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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