Wed, 13 Mar 2013 19:15:00 GMT | By IANS

Is Italy taking ‘advantage’ of India's decency?

According to a former envoy, it was wrong on Italy's part to go back on its commitment to India and the Supreme Court that the marines would be sent back

Is Italy taking ‘advantage’ of India's decency? (© AFP)

New Delhi: Italy is not the first country to have taken advantage of the Indian government's "decency" in refusing to return its accused men for trial, and the plea to allow the two marines to fly back to Rome to vote could have been a ploy being hatched for some time, say two former envoys to that country.

Italy has refused to send back its marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, to India to face trial for killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast last year, mistaking them to be pirates. This is not the first case. In 1998, two French nationals had been arrested off the Kerala coast on suspicion of ocean survey espionage. The two men were put on trial and were allowed to go back to visit their homes after the French government gave an undertaking in court that they would return.

"They never returned... Take the case of Kim Davy (the Purulia arms drop case prime accused from Denmark)," said former diplomat Rajiv Dogra, who retired as the country's ambassador to Italy. "They (countries) are taking advantage of the decency of the Indian government," Dogra told IANS.

"Last year, a US warship killed an Indian off the coast of Dubai and injured two-three Indians seriously. Nothing happened in the case," he reminded. "It is for India to act strongly for only then they will stop taking advantage," he said.

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