External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Thursday reiterated that Italy should have faith in Indian judiciary over the issue of continued stay of two Italian sailors, accused of killing two Kerala fishermen, in India.
Khurshid, on his maiden visit abroad as foreign minister, had met Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti on Tuesday on the sidelines of ninth ASEM (Asia Europe Meeting) summit in Laos.
During the meeting, held at Monti’s request, Italy had again raised the issue of the two Italian sailors detained in India and that they should be returned home soon.
Khurshid informed that the matter was now pending before the Supreme Court, where the judgment is now reserved. “We reasserted and reaffirmed that India has an outstanding system of law, which is very transparent, and the rule of law prevails in our country, and all friendly countries should repose faith and would find that their faith is vindicated,” he said.
Last month, Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi had said that he was “appalled” that “a country where the rule of law applies is not able to express, with a minimum of courage, quickly, clearly and definitively, the judgment of the Supreme Court allowing our soldiers go home”.
Terzi had said that if the sailors were not released, they could start a “series of actions at an international level” that could lead to a “legal dispute between the countries”. The Italian marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, were arrested from merchant ship Enrica Lexie in February, after they were charged of shooting dead two Indian fishermen in international waters, off Kerala coast.
They were released on bail in June, on a condition that they had to remain in India.
The Italian Government had appealed to the Supreme Court that Indian Government did not have jurisdiction over the case.