Italy is stepping up its demarche that the two Italian Marines should be allowed to leave India. The deputy foreign minister Staffan De Mistura has arrived in Delhi to raise the matter at the political level. Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi is expected in Delhi early next week.
The Italians are firmly insisting that the crime of the killing of the two Indian fishermen took place in international waters and the UN regulations on the law of the sea will prevail, which means trial in Italy. They refuse to accept Delhi’s stance that Indian laws will prevail.
It stands to reason the Italians are in possession of evidence backing up their case — or else the foreign minister wouldn’t stake his political prestige in the matter. If so, a first class diplomatic row is erupting and the denouement may not be pleasant.
The big question is whether the way South Block went about handling this issue was the best way or the only way. EAM S.M.Krishna has said, “the law of the land will have to take its own course, we have advised the Italians to cooperate with the Kerala law agencies to achieve an amicable solution.” This is a contradictory stance. An “amicable solution” implies a negotiated, mutually acceptable, equitable solution. Whereas, ‘due process of law’ is an entirely different process, which is non-negotiable.
The accent of the Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy is on “strict legal action” on the “cold-blooded murder”, which is a third way. Interestingly, following his phone conversation with EAM Krishna on Monday, Terzi linked the Indian stance to the Piravom by-election to the Kerala state assembly on March 18, which could seal the fate of the Congress-led government. Tersi observed wryly, “Complicating an already complex situation are the elections being held in Kerala that are without doubt influencing the feelings of the citizens and as a consequence risk influencing the investigation.”
Posted in Diplomacy.
– February 21, 2012