domenica 1 giugno 2014

A open letter about Italian Marines to Prime Minister Narendra Modi

June 1, 2014

830 days of shame of two countries

Good Morning Prime Minister Narendra Modi,  I would like to congratulate for his success in the elections in India, I also hope that you wants to shed light on the matter, or rather attempted blackmail by the congress party with the allegations of the Fusiliers Italian Navy for over two years detained in his country with the complicity of Italian Government, thankfully now it is you who can finally give justice to two soldiers betrayed and sellers to do business with a system of bribes that the Congress party was trying to hide to continue to enrich themselves on the backs of the people of India, I wish you a great success in his political life and humbly ask to make sure that justice is done by returning to the two soldiers' Italy and pursuing those in his country has mounted this case with false evidence, thanks 
Milella Antonio, Bari, Italy

Buongiorno Primo Ministro Narendra Modi, le scrivo queste righe perchè mi voglio complimentare per il suo successo alle elezioni indiane, mi auguro inoltre che lei voglia far chiarezza sulla vicenda o meglio sul ricatto tentato dal congress party con le accuse ai Fucilieri di Marina Italiani da oltre due anni trattenuti nel suo paese con la complicità del governo italiano, per fortuna ora è lei che può finalmente dar giustizia a due Soldati traditi e venduti per fare affari con un sistema di tangenti che il partito del congresso cercava di nascondere per continuare ad arricchirsi sulle spalle del popolo indiano, le auguro un grande successo nella sua vita politica e le chiedo umilmente di fare in modo che giustizia sia fatta restituendo i due Soldati all' Italia e perseguendo chi nel suo paese ha montato questo caso con false prove, grazie.
Antonio Milella, Bari, Italia

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This is a document intended both as an article for ready publication or as a draft text to be freely used, modified and published by any journalist in any country with no rights demanded by the original writer.

Written on July 15, 2013

by Stefano Tronconi

It's now seventeen months today since the alleged incident happened.
It was February 15, 2012, around 4 pm when the Italian ship Enrica Lexie, while sailing the international waters off the coast of Kerala, India, suffered an attack by a pirate boat. The Italian Marines providing security to the ship, according to their story, repulsed the attack by firing warning shots in the water and the air. Still according to their story, the pirate boat aborted the assault with no casualties on either side.
On the same day, at 11.20 pm an Indian fishing boat returned to shore in Kerala with the bodies of two fishermen killed by unknown assailants.
The Indian Coast Guard and the local police were quick to establish a link between the two incidents and the story of two Italian Marines mistakingly shooting two Indian fishermen thinking that they were pirates made the headlines around the world.

After seventeen months, a length of time astonishing by itself, the two Italian Marines are still held in India with no permission to leave the country, waiting for the investigation of their case to be completed. But the real shocking news are that it is now emerging a completely different story of what happened on that day. Based upon new evidence emerged in recent weks, it appears that it was not the Italian Marines who shot the fishermen. However, they appear to have been deliberately framed due to local political convenience in Kerala, while the weak central governments of India and Italy stood shamefully by unwilling and unable to intervene while the case unfolded

The main new documental evidence that has turned upside down the Indian account of the events is the following:
  1. a television interview by the owner of the Indian fishing boat upon arrival on the Kerala shore clearly stating that the killing of the two fishermen took place at around 9.30 pm and not at around 4 pm (time of the Enrica Lexie encounter with a pirate boat) as later reported in the police investigation;
  2. the document by which the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) asked the Enrica Lexie to head for Kochi for clarification about the piracy incident indicates a time of 9.36 pm and therefore it entirely destroys the validity of the claim that the operation to call back into port the Enrica Lexie, as reported in official police and ICG documents, was started at 7.00 p.m;
  3. finally, there is the report of a pirate attack suffered in the waters off the Kerala coast by the Greek ship Olympic Flair sent out to the International Maritime Organization at 10.20 pm on February 15, 2012; in such report there are many details leading to think that it might have well been the Olympic Flair, and not the Enrica Lexie, that on February 15, 2012 crossed paths with the Indian fishing boat.

How is it possible that such evidence has not come to light for almost one year and half? How is it possible that the entire investigation of the Kerala police indicates times and places of the alleged events arranged in a way as to make appear that it was the Marines aboard the Italian ship who opened fire on the Indian fisherman? What happened in Kerala in the aftermath of what now looks like two different incidents that led to the apparent fabrication of a case against the two Italian Marines?

We need not to forget that at the time of the incident the Prime Minister of Kerala, Mr. Chandy, was engaged in the campaign for a local election fought on a razor-thin majority. On February 16, 2012 Mr. Chandy found himself with two dead fishermen (and the powerful fishermen organizations, that would influence a large number of votes, loudly demanding for a culprit), an Italian ship which, unaware of any wrongdoing, had accepted to dock into the port of Kochi and a Greek ship, the likely involuntary responsible of the killing of the two fishermen, that in the meantime had sailed away.
What would an unprincipled politician, who doesn't care about justice, but cares a lot about power, do in such a case? The daily statements made by Mr. Chandy himself in the immediate days after the incidents, prior therefore to the start of any serious investigation, declaring that there was unassailable evidence against the Italian Marines and that no clemency would be shown towards them sound indeed very suspicious. They appear to have been indications clear enough for the local police of the way that the investigation should go and, obviously, were precisely what was needed to win a much larger share of the votes than anticipated in the upcoming local elections.

In the meantime, the Indian Central government, which is known for lacking the capability of taking quick and decisive action on any issue, of course could not agree on any line to take on a case which for many reasons was indeed unprecedented. Some ministers and legal counselors were fully aware that India was breaching international laws and practices on how sovereign States deal with one another when unfortunate incidents take place. However, in this context of general confusion, it was enough for Mr. Chandy to ensure the backing of the former Indian foreign minister, Mr. Krishna (the same minister who was not able to distinguish his own speech from the one of a Portuguese colleague and started to read the latter during a U.N. Session) to go ahead unopposed with his own plan.

But, how is it possible that the Italian government for seventeen months has not really stood by his soldiers, has not lodged any formal complaint into any international and/or multinational organization among the many of which Italy is part and has basically accepted any sort of abuses on its sovereignty?
The Italian State may have not yet reached financial bankruptcy, but it's now about two decades since moral and ethical bankruptcy have de facto been declared in Italy. The alternation between centre-right, centre-left and grand coalition governments, or even governments led by so-called technocrats has made no difference whatsoever and the reputation of the country has continued to plunge. The technocrat government, in charge at the time and for the duration of most of the the Enrica Lexie affair, and now the recently appointed new government, have had only one consistent message delivered to the Indian authorities throughout the last seventeen months: 'The incident should not affect the commercial relations between the two countries'. In other words, business before justice, the same shameful philosophy that has led in recent days to another international embarassment with the repatriation from Italy to Kazakhstan of the wife and daughter of an opposition Kazakh leader. In front of such Italian weakness even the traditionally weak Indian government has felt no pressure to deliver justice or find a solution to the embarassing case and the embarassing behavior of the authorities in Kerala.

Well, maybe the Indian and the Italian governments are still thinking that they can continue to play around with this case in order to find a way to save face. At this point, and after the surfacing of the new evidence, we disagree, and we think that the time to deliver justice by imediately discharging the two presumably innocent Italian Marines and to find a solution to the embarassing case has definitely come. Seventeen months away from their families while their adolescent children grow without their innocent fathers on their side is definitely too long a time to accept even for two loyal soldiers of any country.
What rather needs to start both in India and in Italy is a serious investigation to shed light on all errors, illicit or even criminal behaviors that have occurred all along this case. It's a responsibility that both countries have towards their citizens. Italians should not have the feeling that the government of their country is ready to sacrifice them in favor of any commercial deals. Indians should not have the feeling that anybody crossing by chance the path of the powerful and the well-connected (if anything like this happened to two Italian soldiers, it can certainly happen to millions of indians) is at risk of losing freedom and dignity. If national States cannot guarantee such basic rights to their citizens, they have no reason to exist or command any respect internationally. And this applies to both India and Italy. 


Written on January 1, 2014

All the signs appear to indicate that, knowing no shame, they had the courage to do it again!

What are we referring to?
We are referring to the agreement that it appears to have been struck between the governments of India and Italy to extend for a few more months the endless detention of Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone.

Whom are we referring to?
As far as Italy is concerned we are primarily referring to President Napolitano, Prime Minister Letta, Foreign Minister Bonino, Defense Minister Mauro and Special Envoy De Mistura. But of course we are also referring to all the special behind-the-scene interests which they represent.
Then, of course, our reference is also to the Indian government, concerned about the prospects of a potential huge scandal ahead of the general elections due shortly, and to all the other Indian institutions which are, like in Italy and opposite to what they claim, all but independent from politics.

Massimiliano Latorre e Salvatore Girone, two men completely innocent of what they are accused of and now held in India for almost two years without trial, have been again respectively offered and taken as hostages by the Italian and Indian governments and, as a matter of fact, 'sold' by their own country for a few more months.

In the days around Christmas several statements and signs have led us to such a belief:

- Italian President Napolitano who, while expressing his Christmas wishes to the two marines via video-conference, addressed them with downcast eyes (most likely being himself overwhelmed by shame) and declared that the upcoming Indian elections scheduled by the next month of May may represent a further new impediment to any 'fast' and 'fair' trial;
- The Times of India (followed by several other newspapers) that, breaking from the habit of almost ignoring, if not sometimes ridiculing with good reasons, statements coming from Italian politicians, on this occasion reported Napolitano's words at light speed as the easy way to inform its readers not to expect much in terms of new developments in the coming months without having so to explain why such a trial with so many critical implications still doesn't move forward after almost two years;
- Italian Foreign Minister Bonino (appearing more and more as the victim of a split personalty also in consideration of her personal history as a dedicated libertarian) who, after joining on Christmas Day a march in favor of human dignity against certain aberrations of the justice systems, on Boxing Day managed to justify in a television interview the endless detention without trial of the marines Latorre and Girone based upon 'understandable Indian internal political reasons';
- Indian Foreign Minister Kurshid who told the press that he is confident that soon the diplomatic crisis between the two countries will come to an end and that the relationship between India and Italy will enjoy a new 'Spring';
- Indian Defense Minister Antony (based on our reconstruction of the events one of the main alleged culprits of the criminal-political gang responsible for what we termed the 'kidnapping' of marines Latorre and Girone) who suddenly backtracked on the already given as certain cancellation of the important Agusta-Westland chopper contract by stating that the investigation (the one relative to the awarding of the chopper contract, not to the marines) needs to run its course before any final decision can be made. Needless to say that at this point the acceptance of an arbitration on the validity of the contract, possibility always denied by Antony, would be the best possibility of survival for the entire deal;
- Indian Air Force Chief Marshal Browne who, just a few days before leaving office, stated that the Agusta-Westland chopper is exactly the kind of chopper that the Air Force would need.

What should we expect then after such a flurry of alluding statements from both sides?
Of course we still expect the same kind of developments already outlined in several of our previous articles. A semblance of a trial (an inescapable due act after last year ignominious political judgment passed by the Indian Supreme Court) will have to be set in motion in order to try to manage with as little damage as possible this entire farce. During such a trial the effort will be on keeping the focus on formal and legal aspects in order to avoid that the truth about what really happened and any responsibilities of high-ranking politicians may come out. The goal of the corrupt Indian and Italian governments will be to make these ridiculous proceedings as short and as little public as possible, without passing any final decision on the facts of the case, but rather remitting the definition of the case either to an out-of-court settlement between the two governments or to the Italian judiciary.
Unfortunately, it's the timing of such developments that appear to have been pushed forward.
Once again, rather than following this path in a 'fast' and 'fair' manner (of course the two abused adjectives often used in the past by various politicians both in India and in Italy are here recalled ironically insofar as they are the less appropriate to describe this entire story), this path will only be followed as soon as it will be expedient to do so, in the most complete disregard for justice, but keeping in full consideration – as Minister Bonino reminded us – all Indian internal political demands. As a first step at this point we will not be surprised whether on January 8 the special court set up to handle the case will decide to defer again any start of the trial.
Let us be clear on one point though. Any new delay in the start of the trial is mostly the responsibility of the Italian government. The Indian government, or more appropriately the Congress Party leading such government, can only show its appreciation for the Italian choice to play along and not to expose the crimes committed in India against the two marines.

But how is it possible that such a farcical criminal absurdity is not yet coming to a conclusion?
Isn't it true that all the people with some role in the investigation and in the case do indeed know at least since June 2012 that Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone had no role whatsoever in the killing of any Indian fishermen, not even by mistake?
Isn't it true that all the people with some role in the investigation and in the case do indeed know at least since September 2012 that Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone have been the victims of an alleged criminal kidnapping functional to the retention of power by a well-known criminal-political group harbored within the Indian Congress Party?
This is the real heart of the matter: the responsibilities for such a huge international crime, as allegedly revealed by the investigation carried out in our own private time and brought to light in June 2012 by myself, journalist Toni Capuozzo and court expert Luigi Di Stefano, are so high level that the consequences can be potentially devastating both in India and in Italy.

How indeed convenient for all the inept and corrupt politicians and their allies (more or less aware of the crimes committed) it would have rather been the 'stalinist' trial based on fabricated evidence that India was about to celebrate last summer against the two marines (yes, we are referring to that same 'fast' and 'fair' trial that Minister Bonino was trying to sell daily to the Italian public opinion calling into the equation the grief of the slain fishermen's families whose sad plight has nothing to do with the actions of Latorre and Girone)!

How indeed convenient it would have rather been a guilty verdict already secured in the people's mind by a relentless politically directed media campaign and delivered on the head of two innocent men so as to cover the crimes and mistakes at the highest levels both in India and in Italy! And in order to somewhat balance the blame and the shame within the current Italian government we would like to recall here Minister Mauro's words celebrating the 'newly-found good relations with India that will allow Latorre and Girone to serve any jail time in Italy'!

How indeed convenient it would have rather been the personal sacrifice of two innocent, honest men in view of the continuing good name, of the new economic deals, of the retention of power of the castes of politicians, judges, diplomats, generals, public bureaucrats and journalists who govern India and Italy today on behalf of their own private interests!

It's in fact well known all over the world that India and Italy have unfortunately become in recent years two countries afflicted by a morally degraded democracy. They are indeed 'caste' countries, the result of hard-to-die historical traditions in the case of India, the result of most recent degeneration in the case of Italy.
In both countries such castes are in control of parliament, government, the judiciary, the military and the media. Persons of the worst intellectual, moral and ethical mettle, whose only real concern is the accumulation of wealth and power, have made it to the top of such castes. Castes so discredited in the eyes of the Indian and Italian people that their own survival appears today to be at risk. Castes threatened in their own existence that have a desperate need to to provide each other mutual support not only within each country, but reciprocally between the two countries.

Here are some interesting words:
“When we were in the movement, we were pleading with the government over and over again to legislate the Lokpal Bill, but it didn't respond. Gradually we realized that the character of the present system is such that petitions wouldn't work. If they are the problem, they can't take action against themselves - they're steeped in corruption and would never pass the Lokpal Bill. Therefore, we have now entered politics. Annaji used to say that politics is keechar (muck). We have now entered the keechar to clean it up ourselves. We know we don't have a magic wand which we will wave and correct everything. Nor do we have the knowledge to solve all the problems. But we do know that if all of Delhi's 1.5 crore people get together and want to do something, there is nothing that can't be done. Collectively we can, together we can. Five-six ministers or a handful of bureaucrats can't solve the problems of Delhi. Secondly, there is the question of niyat (intent).
If we think that we can provide good governance in the present system, that's not possible. The system will soon overpower us and we will get sucked into it. So, we will have to change the system completely and for that our solution is swaraj. We will have to implement a system that no longer depends on individuals but works by itself. ….”

The reported words are not taken from an interview of Beppe Grillo (the comedian turned politician who is causing an earthquake in Italian politics and who would have certainly spoken with a less moderate tone), but from an interview of Arvind Kejriwal. Kejriwal is the winner of the recent elections held in Delhi (he is now heading a minority government) and the head of a new Indian party about one year old the symbol of which is a 'broom' which, according to him, India urgently needs to swipe away all-present corruption and malpractices. However, even if delivered with a different tone, the same words could have easily come from Grillo's mouth and used with reference to Italy.

Why did we choose to relate an excerpt from a Kejriwal's interview published on the Times of India?
The reason is that these words, in conjunction with the recent successes achieved by both Grillo and Kejriwal, help us to focus on the degradation of the political environments that the current governing elites have caused both in India and in Italy. If we don't focus on such a degradation it would be almost impossible for most of us to imagine and believe what has happened and is still happening to Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone.
Only the understanding of how degenerated the Indian and the Italian political systems have become allows us to believe that an entire investigation may have been so incredibly fabricated by the Indian authorities and that such fabrication may have been accepted without objections by the Italian authorities (of course until our privately researched investigation has emerged and put them shoulders against a wall).
Only the understanding of the level of degradation of the Italian and Indian societies may explain why the media, faithful mirror and main cover for the corruption and malpractices that have swallowed both countries, have launched themselves in a frantic media trial with no evidence to mislead public opinions letting them believe that ill-starred Latorre and Girone may have had anything to do with the death of the slain fishermen.

We have always striven to steer clear of any political manipulation for the respect that we feel we owe to the tragedy that has befallen on Massimiliano Latorre, Salvatore Girone and their families (hoping notwithstanding, with no results, that some honest politicians may at last take the time to look into the matter seriously and not simply for short-term political gains).
However, today, even from our external perspective, we feel appropriate to point out that should Arvind Kejriwal and Beppe Grillo choose to pay some attention to this incredible case they will find in the micro-world represented by this story all the worst evils that, at least in their intentions, they declaim they are all set to eradicate from the sick societies that India and Italy have become today.
Arvind Kejriwal would certainly need not one, but a full army of brooms to wipe away all the corruption and the malpractices that have tainted this case from the Indian side. But we think that for him it would certainly be a good starting point.
Beppe Grillo, just to mention a few things, would certainly find plenty of elements in support of some initiatives that he is currently pursuing such as the 'impeachment' request for Italian president Napolitano, he would find clear proofs of his claims that politicians of all traditional parties currently in parliament are incompetent, mediocre and controlled by external interests and he would find definite evidence that Italian TV networks and newspapers are, using his words, simple servants of the political caste in power.

We don't know whether Arvind Kejriwal e Beppe Grillo (or some other polticians on their behalf) will take the time to remove the lid that keeps this tragis story from blowing out.
What we certainly know is however one thing: the kidnapping and the detention in India of Massimiliano Latorre e Salvatore Girone represents more than any other recent events the total collapse of the Indian and the Italian political systems.

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2 commenti:

  1. Can you give me an update of Salvatore Girone's status? Is he free? In jail? Found guilty of any crimes? I only ask because I met him and his team while deployed in Kabul Afghanistan back in 2007. He was such a sweet amazing man and I never knew this was going on... Can you please just give me whatever updated information you have? Thank you!

    1. You'll welcome Miss Lee, actually there is a dispute about Italian Marines between Italy and India on Permanent Court Arbitrary in Den Haag, after ITLOS decision to suspend every thing in india, Salvatore is alleged in New Delhi Italian embassy, I give You link to court site and another link for knew everything about this cases and I provide to send your message to him, for every updates follow us please, here on this blog or in my personal G+ pages, thanks a lot