This Article is From Mar 15, 2013

Airports alerted to prevent Italian envoy from flying out: report

Airports alerted to prevent Italian envoy from flying out: report
New Delhi: Airports across the country have been alerted to prevent Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini from leaving India, the Press Trust of India said.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ordered that the envoy must stay in India at least till Monday, when he has been asked to explain Italy's refusal to return two marines to face murder charges in Delhi for shooting two fishermen in Kerala last year.

Mr Mancini had given a written assurance to the Supreme Court that Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone would return to stand trial if they were allowed to travel home for four weeks for Easter and to vote in the national election.

On Monday, Italy informed India that the men would not be sent back.

The Supreme Court ruling keeping Mr Mancini in India appears to run contrary to diplomatic norms which guarantee the freedom of movement of foreign envoys.

Article 29 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 states that diplomats shall "not be liable to any form of arrest or detention".

But the Foreign Ministry has argued that "if the diplomatic agent willingly submits to the jurisdiction of a court, then that jurisdiction applies".

Italy says that its decision was taken after India ignored its written offer for diplomatic negotiations, and because New Delhi does not have jurisdiction over the case. (Read: Will search for an acceptable solution, Italian officials tell NDTV)

The marines were guarding an Italian tanker off the Kochi coast in February last year when they say they mistook two fishermen for pirates, and shot them.

Italy claims the shooting took place in international waters; India disagrees.