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Italy sends envoy to negotiate with Indian government

CNN-IBN
Feb 21, 2012 at 06:37pm IST

Rome: Italy is sending a top envoy to India to negotiate with the government after two Italian marine security guards were arrested for allegedly shooting to death two Indian fishermen they mistook for pirates.

Italy has insisted the case be handled by its own judicial authorities since the incident allegedly occurred in international waters on an Italian-flagged ship, the Enrica Lexie.

It maintains that such military personnel are part of the Italian state and thus immune to the jurisdiction of foreign states.

Staffan De Mistura, Foreign Ministry undersecretary, was heading to India on Tuesday and Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi planned a trip in a week. De Mistura, a longtime UN official, was most recently the UN’s special representative for Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the family of one of the fishermen killed in the firing incident has moved the Kerala High Court seeking compensation and for the ship to be detained.

A search warrant was issued by a local court on Tuesday to seize the weapons used in the shooting. Meanwhile the 2 naval personnel have also decided to move the Kerala High Court seeking quashing of the FIR filed against them.

Sources say that a senior SC lawyer is likely to represent the naval guards.

Meanwhile, Terzi, maintaining pressure on India, said that both sides were working to resolve the crisis.

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