New Delhi, March 12: It seems Congress-led UPA government has no answers, as Italy has said in clear words that it won't send back two marines to India to face trial. The marines are charged with killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast last year.
The Italian foreign ministry communicated the message to India on Monday, March 12.
India had earlier granted permission to the marines to visit Italy (their home) to vote in last month's election.
"We have received a communication from Italy late tonight (Monday). We will examine it carefully," said a spokesperson at Ministry of External Affairs.
The comment from the Indian establishment is nothing less than face saver.
But, Italy has come out with strong words to defend its stand.
"Italy has always argued that Indian authorities have violated their obligations under international law...especially the principle of immunity from trial by the organs of a foreign state and the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea," said a statement from foreign ministry.
"Italy has informed the Indian government that, given the formal initiation of an international dispute between the two states, the marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone will not return to India at the end of their home leave," the statement added.
Even the Kerala government had opposed the decision of Indian government to send the marines to Italy, as they feared the marines won't come back to face trial in India. The issue is quite emotive in Kerala, as deceased fishermen's families are yet to come up with terms with the loss.
Supreme Court in January said that India had jurisdiction to try the marines but Italy has challenged that decision, arguing that the shooting took place in international waters.
However, earlier the two marines went to Italy to celebrate Christmas with their families, but they came back to India on January.