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New Delhi condemns Ferrari support for marines at Indian GP

F1 team to show Italian Navy flag

26 October, 14:29
New Delhi condemns Ferrari support for marines at Indian GP (ANSA) - New Delhi, October 26 - The Indian government spoke out on Friday against Ferrari's decision to display the Italian Navy flag on their race cars at this weekend's Indian Grand Prix in solidarity with two Italian marines on trial in India over the shooting deaths of two Indian fishermen.

Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone are accused of homicide after allegedly mistaking the fishermen for pirates during an anti-piracy mission off the coast of Kerala in southern india in February. The shooting triggered a diplomatic row between Italy and India.

The Italian government, citing United Nations conventions, says its courts should have jurisdiction over the case and has been pressing for the marines return to Italy.

The pair are being held while the Indian Supreme Court considers Italy's claim for jurisdiction.

''To use sporting events to promote causes not of a sporting nature is incoherent with the sporting spirit,'' the Indian ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement. Indian fishermen protested earlier in the day after the cars drived by Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa carried he emblem of the Italian Navy during a practice session at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida.

''We cannot approve of the government turning a blind eye to this act, especially because the two marines are still undergoing trial,'' the Secretary of the National Fishworkers' Forum (NFF), T. Peter, told daily newspaper The Hindu.

Peter added that the decision was an affront to the Indian fishing community and to Indian society at large.

Business newspaper Mint asked on its opinion page: ''Who are the real victims here? The two military officers who, all things considered, are being given a fair trial, or the two fishermen who were killed?''.