Dear Mr. Secretary General Mr.Ban Ki moon,
We respectfully request your renewed attention for an event already known to you.
During your recent visit to Italy, you expressed concern to President Napolitano for the "unfortunate" case of the two Italian fusiliers accused of killing two Indian fishermen in the course of an anti-piracy operation off the coast of Kerala, India on February 15, 2012.
To briefly recapitulate: the oil tanker Enrica Lexie, on which the men were serving, was lured into port under false pretense (clarification) and the men arrested.
The fusiliers were imprisoned for a time and then transferred to a guest house under guard, while a fact-finding mission conducted by the state of Kerala alone excluded Italy from participation, including a ballistics investigation.
Italian authorities immediately noted that the tragic event took place in international waters and involved military men who had a right to be tried in Italy. India, instead, arrogated to itself the exclusive right to conduct the investigation and trial.
In the course of over one year, the men were transferred to Delhi, the jurisdiction and inquiry by the state of Kerala being invalidated. A fresh inquiry was begun and the conclusion reached that a special tribunal should be set up to rule on the case.
During this time, the men were granted two periods of permission to return to Italy. Both times they returned to India on schedule, as agreed.
On April 26, 2013, Indian authorities ruled that the inquiry be conducted by the anti-terrorism police, which holds out the possibility of a death sentence.
While the men were on leave in Italy, India gave assurance that the death penalty would not be invoked. That commitment is now in doubt. Italy had made it clear that it does not extradite its citizens to countries where the death penalty is in effect.
The outcome of this long, drawn-out affair risks compounding the original tragedy.
Italy received no support from other countries during this time. Appeals to the European Union met with flat refusal by foreign representative Catherine Aston to intervene in a case involving a foreign country.
We now appeal to the United Nations to monitor the forthcoming trial and eventually promote international arbitration, which may prove the only equitable solution.
The men (whose actual responsibility is open to doubt) are not terrorists, but military officials committed to combating piracy, which causes serious damage to international shipping. The United Nations shares this concern.
We thank you for your attention and trust in your vigilance.
" Italians World Wide For Our Marine
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