India extends travel ban on Italian ambassador Daniele Mancini over missing marines who shot fishermen
Monday 18 March 2013
The Indian Supreme Court today extended a travel ban on the Italian ambassador Daniele Mancini “until further notice,” escalating the diplomatic stand-off between the two countries.
The Court had previously placed a ban on Mr Mancini’s travel on Thursday. The Indian government sent a notification to all airports and seaports, telling them to bar Mr Mancini from leaving the country.
Mr Mancini had appeared before the court on Friday to claim diplomatic immunity. Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, ambassadors are required to be given freedom of movement.
The Supreme Court rejected this argument, saying that it had “lost trust” in Mr Mancini. The Court further claimed that the ambassador had waived his diplomatic immunity by acting as guarantor for the return of the two Italian marines charged with shooting two Indian fishermen in February last year.
The two marines were allowed to return home in February for four weeks to vote in the country’s general elections. They had previously been allowed to return to Italy for Christmas, after which they returned. The marines were due to return on March 22, but Mr Mancini informed the Court that they would not be returning.
"A person who comes to court and gives an undertaking has no immunity," Chief Justice Altamas Kabir is reported to have said by local media.
Harish Salve, a former solictor-general of India, said that the Court is on solid legal ground despite international conventions on diplomatic immunity. “In my perception, where a diplomat is a petitioner and seeks relief, then he cannot seek sovereign immunity,” he said. Mr Salve likened it to when an ambassador sues someone in his host country. “If he loses, he can not say he will not pay the money he owes by citing sovereign immunity.”
Mr Salve was legal counsel for the two marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, until last Monday. He withdrew after hearing on the evening news that Italy had notified the Indian government of its decision not to return the two marines. “It was an issue of conscience, but it is also not how you treat your legal counsel.”
The marines were stationed on the Italian oil tanker Enrica Lexie as a defence against pirates. The marines allegedly opened fire on a fishing boat they mistook for pirates off the coast of the southern state of Kerala, killing two. There have 12 pirate attacks off the western coast of India, where Kerala lies, since 2010, according to the International Maritime Bureau. The Bureau lists the shooting incident involving the two marines as an attempted attack.
They were detained by the Indian coast guard and imprisoned in Kerala.
The shooting sparked a diplomatic row, with both governments facing heavy political pressure at home.
The Italian government wants the marines to be tried in Italy, claiming that the shooting occurred in international waters. Under international law, killings on the high seas are tried in the country under whose flag the ship sails. The Indian government claims that the shooting occurred in its “exclusive economic zone” a nebulous zone between a country’s coastline and international waters.
The next court hearing is set for April 2.
- 1 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response from Ellen DeGeneres
- 2 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 3 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response from Ellen DeGeneres
Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Man dies instantly after shooting firework from top of his head
Isis schoolgirl Amira Abase who fled London to join terrorists in Syria mocks victims of Tunisia massacre
Father faces deportation to Thailand after 27 years in Britain for two 'stupid crimes'
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This innovative online car purc...
£12500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A subscriptions and marketing a...
£35,000 - £40,000 based on experience : Metail Ltd: As a Business Development ...
£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well establis...