NEW DELHI: Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini is set to leave for Italy this weekend, after being recalled by Rome, irked by the Supreme Court’s harsh strictures on a petition to extend stay of Italian marine Massimiliano Latorre on health grounds and permission for fellow marine Salvatore Girone to go home for Christmas.
The decision to recall the envoy was taken in Rome after the Supreme Court expressed its displeasure over the petition. On September 12, the court had allowed Lattore to travel to his country for medical treatment for four months after the government said that it had no objection to the plea.
Thereafter, on September 16, senior advocates Soli Sorabjee and K T S Tulsi, appearing for the marines, said that even the Central government had no objection to extension of stay of Latorre on health grounds.
However, after the SC indicated that the petition was obstructing the trial, the petition was withdrawn.
A day later in Rome, the Italian foreign minister expressed annoyance and recalled the Italian envoy in New Delhi for consultations. Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti told lawmakers that “conditions aren’t there” for Latorre to return to India.
If indeed Latorre did not return, it would become a rerun of similar situation in 2012, when the Italy refused to let the marines return.
It was after judicial and diplomatic pressure that Rome relented and changed its decision.
According to sources, despite the Italian defence minister’s words, there is still no decision on whether Latorre will not return to India. Rome is likely to wait and watch the Supreme Court’s demeanour at the next hearing which will take place once the court reopens in 2015. By that time, the Italian ambassador may also return back to India and take up his post.