Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today urged the Centre not to release the Italian marines accused of murdering Indian fishermen, even if the United Nations intervened.
Asking the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not to give in to the pressures of Italy, he said reports in a section of media that UN General Assembly President John Ashe might take up this demand with India during his visit to the country, raised concerns about the future of the case.
Freeing the marines without trial under Indian laws would be legally prejudicial and lower the image of the judicial system in the country, the Chief Minister said in a letter to the Prime Minister.
He said people in Kerala were anxiously awaiting the trial and subsequent phases in the case.
Two Indian fishermen were killed off the Kollam coast of Kerala when the two marines aboard Italian ship Enrica Lexie fired at them on February 15, 2012.
Ever since the arrest and detention of the marines - Massimilano Latoree and Salvatore Girone - Italy has been opposing their trial under Indian laws and exerting pressure for their release.