Italy summons Indian Ambassador in Rome on marines issue

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A day after the Italian Ambassador to India was recalled for ‘consultations’, Italian Foreign Ministry on Saturday summoned Indian Ambassador in Rome Dabarata Saha in connection with detention of two of its marines charged with murder of two fishermen in Kerala.

It was announced in Italy yesterday that it is recalling its Ambassador here, Giacomo Sanfelice, for consultations soon after a court in Kerala refused bail to the two Italian marines charged with the murder at sea of the two Indian fishermen.

According to official sources here, Saha was ‘summoned’. The Indian Ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Ministry which ‘firmly signalled’ 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 marines - Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone- accused in the fishermen killing case.

The marines on board the Italian ship 'Enrica Lexie' had allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen--Valentine Jalastine and Ajesh Bi --on February 15, apparently mistaking them for pirates. The marines, who were arrested on February 19, are lodged in the Central Prison in Thiruvanathapuram under judicial remand.

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