LDF in Kerala sees 'Italy's secret hand' on marines issue

Last Updated: Mon, Mar 18, 2013 08:54 hrs

Thiruvananthapuram: Italy's decision not to send back its two marines to face trial for killing two fishermen off the coast of Kerala had its echo in the state Assembly today with CPI-M led LDF opposition staging a walkout blaming the Centre and state governments for the present situation.

Speaking on a notice for an adjournment on the circumstances which led the two marines to leave the country, opposition leader V S Achuthanandan alleged the "interference of Congress President Sonia Gandhi" and also said "secret hands of Italy' worked in favour of the marines.

Denying the LDF charge, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy termed as "unfortunate" bringing the name of Gandhi into the issue.

Chandy said Gandhi had given her full support and co-operation to the steps taken by Kerala government on the marines case.

Chandy asserted that both Centre and state would see that the marines of the Italian ship "Enrica Lexie" Massimilliano Latore and Salvatore Girnoe, responsible for the death of two fishermen in February 2012, would be brought back to India to face trial.

Chandy also charged the Italian Ambassador with trying to save the marines under the cover of "Diplomatic Immunity."

"Diplomatic Immunity is not a right to cheat a country or to show disrespect to a country and its justice system," the Chief Minister said. 

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