Ferrari president defends Italian navy flag decision

Contribution to dialogue, says Montezemolo

Ferrari president defends Italian navy flag decision

Maranello, October 26 - Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo on Friday defended the team's decision to display the Italian Navy flag on its 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 local fishermen. ''We only want to make a small contribution, with great respect for the Indian authorities, so that a solution might be found through dialogue,'' he said in the wake of criticism from the Indian government, media and fishing community. Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone are accused of homicide after allegedly mistaking the two Indian 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. Earlier in the day Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone said that sport has nothing to do with ''political'' matters.

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