Let marines go: Centre
By Express News Service - KOCHI
20th December 2012 08:48 AM
Opening up the possibility for the Italian marines to go home for Christmas, the Union Government on Wednesday submitted before the Kerala High Court that the undertaking given by the Italian Ambassador and its Consul-General, assuring it of their return, may be given due consideration.
However, the state government reiterated its earlier stand that the credentials of the Republic of Italy in the ‘Enrica Lexie’ case were suspicious.
“Given the excellent state of relation between India and the Republic of Italy; appropriate undertaking given by the Ambassador and Consul-General of Italy to the court may be given due consideration,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) informed the court.
Assistant Solicitor- General of India Vanchiyur Parameswaran Nair handed over a privileged communication by the Foreign Minister of Italy to India and requested it to be kept sealed.
After hearing arguments of Italy, the Centre and the state government, Justice P Bhavadasan adjourned the case to Thursday for passing verdict on the plea of the marines — Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone — who wanted the court to relax the bail conditions and allow them to go to Italy.
Appearing for the state, Director-General of Prosecutions T Asif Ali said the state could not accept the undertaking given by the Italian Ambassador and the Consul-General.
“Italy joined hands with the accused right from the inception of the case. Their words cannot be believed at all. The written undertaking will be a ‘dead letter’, if the marines don’t come back,” he said.
When the court asked him pointedly whether the state accepts the undertaking, he replied in the negative and said it was the prerogative of the state to conduct investigation and prosecute the offenders, and even the Centre cannot interfere in it.
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