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Italy Summons Indian Ambassador in Rome

  • By PTI

  • May 19, 2012
The two Italian marines facing murder charges in Kerala. (PTI file photo)
  • ROME,Italy

    A day after the Italian ambassador to India was recalled for "consultations,” the Italian Foreign Ministry on Saturday summoned the Indian ambassador in Rome, Dabarata Saha, in connection with the detention of two of its naval guards charged with murder of two fishermen in Kerala.

    The Indian ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Ministry which "firmly signaled" that the judicial developments related to the Italian sailors were not acceptable.

    Saha's summoning comes soon after a court in Kerala rejected the bail application of two Italian naval guards — Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone — accused in the fishermen killing case.

    It was announced in Italy on Friday that it is recalling Ambassador Giacomo Sanfelice for consultations.

    Earlier, the two Italian sailors were denied bail by a Kerala court on the ground that their release might affect the progress of the case, set to enter the trial stage.

    Rejecting the pleas of Massimiliano and Girone, District and Sessions Judge P.D. Rajan said releasing them on bail at this juncture might affect the conduct of the case.

    The judge said the prosecution arguments against granting the bail to the accused were valid considering the seriousness of the charges against them and said their presence was essential when the trial began.

    The naval guards onboard Enrica Lexie allegedly shot dead Valentine Jalastine and Ajesh Binki on February 15 off the coast of Kollam, apparently mistaking the fishermen for pirates. The naval guards, arrested on February 19, are under judicial remand and lodged in the central prison at Thiruvanathapuram.

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