News / Asia

India Extends Restrictions on Italian Ambassador

A view of the Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, Dec.7, 2010.
A view of the Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, Dec.7, 2010.
VOA News
India's Supreme Court has extended its order barring the Italian ambassador from leaving the country for another week, rejecting his explanation for Italy's refusal to return two Italian marines charged with murder in New Delhi.

Chief Justice Altamas Kabir said Monday that Ambassador Daniele Mancici had waived his diplomatic immunity protecting him from arrest or detention when he submitted a written affidavit promising the marines would return to India by March 22.

Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone were part of a military security team on board a cargo ship when they shot and killed two Indian fishermen last year they had mistaken for pirates.

Italy claims the shooting occurred in international waters and that Rome should have jurisdiction in the case. Indian authorities say the ship was in Indian waters off the southern state of Kerala.

India last month granted Mancici's request that the marines be allowed to return to Italy to vote in that country's national elections based on his written assurance they would return.

But last week the Italian government announced the men would not go back, prompting fury in New Delhi.

The Indian Supreme Court then ruled Mancici had formally violated his pledge and barred him from leaving India, issuing an alert to airports with instructions that "appropriate steps" be taken to restrain him.

Relations between the two countries have been strained for other reasons, including corruption allegations over the pending sale of advanced Italian military helicopters which the Indian government is threatening to void.


Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Time has changed from: North America
March 20, 2013 6:57 AM
Summary:
India: India will be humiliated for some over reaction.
Italy: Italy has lost trust and it will take long time to regain trust & respect from world community.
Fisherman's family: They are real victim and no one can return fisherman.

by: Time has Changed from: non EU
March 19, 2013 10:07 PM
Thousands of Indian Soldiers fought for liberation of Italy in second world war. Thousands died and they are in grave in Italy. Here we are discussing about the two Italian soldiers who are alive. Think several time before rough comments otherwise soldiers in grave will feel regret.

by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
March 19, 2013 11:12 AM
A waiver of immunity under duress, is not really something that can stand. A diplomat, in a foreign country, whose duty is to extend protection to his country's citizens, is in fact under duress if he violates his duties or and responsibilities to his native state gvmt. Signing any document or making any agreement, under duress, is not a valid agreement. In any case, only the national authorities, to which the diplomat belongs, can in fact remove his/her immunity. It will be interesting to see how this case gets resolved, but holding a diplomat, without the consent of his/her government is absolutely wrong; it violates all past diplomatic traditions.

by: os from: ss
March 18, 2013 6:15 PM
Article 32(3) The initiation of proceedings by a diplomatic agent or by a person enjoying immunity from jurisdiction under article 37 shall preclude him from invoking immunity from jurisdiction in respect of any counterclaim directly connected with the principal claim.

It's the law. So no diplomatic immunity. However, they cannot enforce it once it's a judgement. Right now it's just a restriction on movement based on his submission to the Indian court. Not a final judgement/determination on immunity.

Article 32(4) Waiver of immunity from jurisdiction in respect of civil or administrative proceedings shall not
be held to imply waiver of immunity in respect of the execution of the judgement, for which a separate
waiver shall be necessary.

In Response

by: Tripat from: new delhi
March 21, 2013 9:53 AM
As per law Host gov. or court cannot initiate any criminal or legal proceedings on a diplomat of another country, but in this case Italian gov. itself send there ambassador to the court thus bringing him under the law of land. In this case the host country did not initiate any legal procedure but Italian gov. did it. So technically Italian gov. themselves surrendered the immunity by producing a affidavit in the court. Moreover in the court of law only an individual can produce an affidavit not a designation or authority therefore mancici was not acting as an ambassador in the court while signing the affidavit, and if Italian gov. says they were not aware of. Sorry you are already in trouble for the same.
In Response

by: JITHIN from: KOZHIKODE
March 19, 2013 5:58 AM
Italian Government dose not seems to have much respect for the rule of low or the Judiciary. The Ambassador of Italy gave a written affidavit in the Supreme Court that the Marines will be returned by 22 of March to stand trial. This is an undertaking given by the Republic of Italy through its Ambassador. Now if they declare that they will not respect the undertaking they have given in writing to the Supreme court then there is not validity for any of the contract Italian Government signs.

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