New Delhi: After the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a case against two Italian marines on Thursday for the murder of two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast last year, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti on Friday called up External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to discuss the case. Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Staffan de Mistura also met Khurshid on Thursday to discuss developments in the case following the lifting of restrictions on the Italian envoy by the Supreme Court.
Khurshid provided Mistura an update of the developments since their meeting last month, official sources said. He also informed the Minister of the steps being taken in compliance with the Supreme Court directions at the last hearing and intentions of the government to inform the apex court on April 16 of the efforts made to constitute a Special Court, the sources added.
Following the meeting, Italian Prime Minister, who is also holding charge of Foreign Ministry, had a telephonic conversation with Khurshid on the same subject, the sources said. The Supreme Court had on April 2 vacated its order restraining Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini from leaving India following the return of the two Italian marines to face trial here as per his commitment to the court.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir vacated its March 14 order by which it had restrained the Ambassador from leaving the country after the Italian government had refused to send back the marines. The bench had also pulled up the Centre for not setting up special court for conducting proceedings against the marines as directed by it on January 18. The two marines, Massimiliano Latore and Salvatore Girone, were on board an Italian vessel 'Enrica Lexie' when they allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 15, last year.
(With Additional Inputs From PTI)