The Italian foreign ministry said it would recall its ambassador
for consultations after the Supreme Court adjourned a hearing that
had lasted only 10 minutes. The judge said India's government needed
to produce more paperwork on whether the trial could be heard under
"Following the latest, unacceptable delay in proceedings by the
Indian Supreme Court in considering the case of the marines Latorre
and Girone and the manifest inability of the Indian judicial
authorities to manage the case, Italy will continue and intensify
its commitment to have its own rights as a sovereign state
recognized in accordance with international law," the foreign
ministry in Rome said in a statement.
The two marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, were
part of a military security team protecting the tanker Enrica Lexie
from pirates. They are accused of shooting two fishermen after
mistaking them for pirates off the southern Indian state of Kerala
in February 2012.
The case has escalated into an increasingly bitter row between the
two governments, with the European Union warning that future
anti-piracy operations may be threatened if the dispute is not
"This is the 26th postponement of this case and the sixth
postponement on the issue of SUA," Staffan de Mistura, a special
envoy of the Italian government who attended the hearing, told
reporters outside the court. SUA is the acronym used to refer to the
[to top of second column]
The hearing is due to recommence on February 24. It is not yet clear
whether the court will hear arguments from both sides and pass an
order on the same day.
(Reporting by Shyamantha Asokan and James Mackenzie;
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