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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Italian Foreign Minister resigns ~ MV Grietj another Enrica Lexie !!


Most of us are unlikely to have heard of - Giuliomaria Terzi di Sant'Agata , also known as Giulio Terzi ~ he is in news connected to Enrica Lexie.  If you had thought that the news has died down with the return of two Italian Marines Massimilano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, that is not to be. The Delhi High Court has now  set up a special court for trial of the two Italian marines accused of killing two Kerala fishermen. The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) of Patiala House court will hold trial of the two Italian marines, high court sources said.  

Giulio Terzi is the Italian Foreign Minister and he is news as he  has resigned in protest of his government's decision to send two Italian marines, accused of killing two Indian fishermen, to Delhi for trial. He is quoted as telling Italian MPs, "My reservations about sending the marines back to India were not listened to." Mr Terzi said he was resigning because his voice had gone "unheard" by Prime Minister Monti and his caretaker administration and that he can no longer be part of the government.  Prime Minister Mario Monti said he was "astonished" by the decision. He is due to speak in parliament on Wednesday.  The 66 year old Minister is quoted as stating "I am resigning because I have maintained for 40 years and I maintain more forcefully today that the honour of the country, its armed forces and the Italian diplomacy must be safeguarded. I am resigning because I support the two marines and their families." There was to be more dissonance  with  Defence Minister Giampaolo Di Paola stating that he would not step down over the crisis because he did not want to "abandon a ship in difficulty".

The marines, Massimiliano Latore and Salvatore Girone, returned accompanied by Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Steffan de Mistura in a military plane, after the dramatic u-turn by the Italian government, which had earlier said the two marines would not be sent back.   Italy then said that there has to be diplomatic assurance that the soldiers won’t face death penalty. Back home, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had said that no deal has been worked out with Italy for bringing back the marines but the government had “clarified” to authorities in Rome that the case does not entitle death penalty.

All deaths are not the same ~ the Marine on board Enrica Lexie killed fishermen while the death of Anandan at Chennai is reportedly an accident arising out of negligence………  TOI repors that 2 German sailors have been  held for mid-sea collision.  The collision  with reported involvement of MV Grietji is getting murkier with the city police arresting two German sailors on 26.3.13. They were later let off on bail on the condition that they should not leave the city. Anandan, 45, a fisherman from Kasimedu drowned, and two of his friends were rescued after a ship rammed their boat. The Coast Guard and the mercantile marine department soon zeroed in on MV Grietj, flying the Antigua Barbuda flag, as the vessel which passed by, around 10 nautical miles (18.5km) off the Chennai coast, at the time of the accident.     A police officer confirmed the arrest of Albrecht Wolsgang (46), captain of the vessel, and Steffen Hinksoth (38), second officer. They have been charged under Section 304(A) (causing death due to negligence). The two seamen are from Munich, Germany.
A magistrate court in the city, where they were produced, directed them to surrender their passports and stay at the Seafarers Club at the Chennai port until further orders. Sources said an underwater inspection of the vessel at Chennai port had not yielded any visible evidence of a collision, but there was circumstantial evidence to arrest the seamen. International maritime conventions empower the local police to initiate legal action against a ship involved in an accident within 12 nautical miles (22km) from the shore. Local investigators have been insisting that the incident happened within this range. Elaborating on the ‘circumstantial evidence,’ a mercantile marine department official said MV Grietj was the only vessel that was in the vicinity of the region at the time of the incident.  “Moreover, the vessel’s VDR (voyage data recorder, which is like the black box in a plane), which should have recorded details of the ship’s movement and any incident, was not working. This could mean that it had a mechanical fault or it was tampered with,” the official said.  According to the earlier statements of two fishermen, Viji, 35, and Santhosh, 19, who were rescued by another fishing boat, their boat had developed a snag mid-sea and they saw a ship at a distance.

The ship’s owners had reportedly agreed to pay compensation to Anandan’s family, but refused to take responsibility for the accident.  Captain Albrecht Wolsgang and second officer Steffen Hinksoth have been asked to surrender their passports and not to leave the city

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
27th Mar 2013
PS: the news about MV Griegj reproduced from Times of India, Chennai Edition.

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