Arun Jaitley quotes James Bond, says Italy's refusal to send marines back is 'enemy action'

Arun Jaitley quotes James Bond, says Italy's refusal to send marines back is 'enemy action'
New Delhi Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, today said that Italy's decision not to send its marines back to India to stand trial for killing two Indian fishermen was "enemy action" and India should "forget diplomacy" and take action.

Raising the issue in the Rajya Sabha, Mr Jaitley quoted from a James Bond novel by Ian Fleming to say: "Once it happens in chance, twice is a coincidence, three times in enemy action."

The BJP leader said the government should consider action against Italian ambassador Daniele Mancini, who had assured the Supreme Court that the marines would return to India after voting in Italy's national elections last month.

"The ambassador had on behalf of the government of Italy submitted to the Supreme Court. Once you have submitted, you don't have diplomatic privileges," Mr Jaitley said.

He said Italy had "broken every rule of democracy" and its action was comparable to "state-sponsored terrorism". "We've heard of state-sponsored terrorisms, but this by a democratic country which ostensibly claims to be committed to the rule of law, this seems to be the first such case of a state-sponsored deception and a state-sponsored abduction," Mr Jaitley said.

"The law minister may examine the post-constitutional treaties, including Vienna convention... it cannot overwrite the constitution of the country. We should forget diplomacy," he added.

The Supreme Court in February allowed the marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, to fly to Italy to vote in the February 24-25 elections. The marines are accused of killing Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast in February last year; they say they mistook the fishermen to be pirates.

Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone had been standing trial in India, first in the Kerala High Court and then in a special court appointed by the Supreme Court.

The apex court was given an undertaking that the marines would return in four weeks to face legal proceedings in India.  The Italian embassy on Monday informed New Delhi that the marines would not be returning.
Story First Published: March 13, 2013 12:17 IST

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