The High Court in Kerala has postponed until Monday 2 April its decision on the Italian appeal concerning jurisdiction in the case of the two Italian marines arrested in India.
Italian Defence Minister Giampiero Di Paola has met his Indian counterpart, A.K. Antony, in New Delhi. Their discussion focused entirely on the case of the two marines. According to the ANSA news agency, both parties agreed that the issue is not strictly within defence ministry remit. It must now be handled at a higher level, as evidenced by the bilateral meeting between the two premiers, Mario Monti and Manmohan Singh, on Monday 26 March 2012 in the margins of the nuclear security summit in Seoul.
During their 40-minute meeting, Di Paola and Antony noted that their two countries have the utmost respect for men and women in uniform, but that in both the judiciary acts in full autonomy with respect to the government. The two ministers also agreed that “an amicable solution” can be found, as the two prime ministers hoped during their meeting in South Korea.
Di Paolo reminded Antony that the Italian position is based on the application of the international rules governing the incident, which involved the Enrica Lexie, an oil tanker. And these rules indicate that Italy has jurisdiction. Minister Di Paolo, who arrived in New Delhi along with a delegation from Trivandrum, where he met the two marines, is leaving India today, 30 March.