Shift marines to guesthouse, urges Italian minister

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An Italian delegation led by deputy foreign minister, Mr Staffan De Mistura, called on chief minister Mr Oommen Chandy and urged him to shift the two Italian military officials now undergoing judicial remand at the Poojapura central prison to a guest house.

The chief minister assured the delegation that the matter would be looked into. “A decision in this regard will be taken after seeking the opinion of police top brass,” Mr Chandy told reporters.

After the meeting, Mr Mistura told reporters that the two marines were treated with dignity at the prison. “We however feel that they should be shifted to a guest house as they are military personnel and not convicts.”

The Italian delegation also reiterated the demand that the marines be prosecuted in Italy. “We are hopefully awaiting court orders. The incident took place in international waters and the two being military personnel, need to be judged in their own country,” he said.

Mr Chandy also refused a request by the Italian delegation for a joint probe into the firing incident. He also conveyed his resentment over reported attacks on Indians in Italy in the wake of the fresh development.

A media delegation from Italy also accompanied Mr Mistura to meet the chief minister. Chief secretary Mr P. Prabakaran, DGP Mr Jacob Punnoose and ADGP south zone P. Chandrasekher were also present at the meeting.

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