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Italy pins hopes on result of ballistic test of weapons

February 24, 2012 17:58 IST

With India sticking to its stance that it will go only by the law of the land in handling the case of the killing of its two fishermen by Italian marines, Italy on Friday pinned its hopes on the ballistic examination of the weapons used saying it would help bring out the truth.

Here on a situation salvage mission, Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Steffan de Mistura, who returned from his two-day visit to Kerala this morning, met M Ganapathi, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs, and briefed him about his talks with local authorities.

"We want the truth. All of us, the Indian people, the Italian people and the truth will come out very much through the ballistic test," he told reporters after the meeting.

"It will help all of us to be able to discover whether there was good faith mistake done by the Judges who decided or felt that the Italian military were wrong or that there was a good faith mistake by the Italian military," he said.

In either case, the test becomes crucial and it will give us the truth, Mistura said and welcomed the Kerala high court decision to allow Italian experts to be present during the ballistic examination of the weapons used by the marines.

MEA spokesman Syed Akbaruddin reiterated India's position on the issue by making it clear that the law of the land should be allowed to take its own course.

"We have been consistently saying that we have a free, fair and independent judiciary and it is best if the law of the land takes its own course," he said. A murder case has been registered in connection with the incident.

Mistura said "the fact that they are allowing Italian experts to be present during this crucial issue of ballistic test is a sign of transparency and to make sure that we all feel comfortable with the proceedings and that will help all of us."

Two Indian fishermen were killed by Italian marines off Kollam coast in Kerala on Wednesday last suspecting them to be sea pirates. Akbaruddin said the visiting Italian Minister seemed to indicate that they were satisfied with the way things were proceeding in Kerala.

Both Mistura and Akbaruddin hoped that this issue would be behind both the countries soon as India and Italy have "multi-faceted relationship."

Mistura said Italian government and the people were concerned about the families of the poor fishermen who died and that they are sad.

"We want to continue to have good relations in spite of this very sad incident which we hope will be behind us soon," he said. Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata will be in New Delhi on Tuesday to meet his counterpart S M Krishna and others to discuss the issue. The visiting Minister is also likely to travel to Kerala.
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