Italian defense minister optimistic on return of marines
Says Indian supreme court ruling is encouraging28 January, 16:28
Di Paola said the situation of the two Italian marines held in India "is significantly different than before, and now opens far more positive prospects".
Di Paola, who was attending a rotation of top naval officers, added that he "trusts that soon they will be home".
Admiral Giuseppe De Giorgi, the new navy chief of staff, said he was "proud of the behavior of the two marines and of their families".
"We are very confident and we hope for the best very soon," De Giorgi added. On Friday, the Italian government responded to a Indian supreme court ruling earlier in the day expressing confidence India would grant Rome jurisdiction in the case of two marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen in February.
The supreme court set up a special tribunal to adjudicate the case and recognised the incident took place in international waters but added the marines did not therefore have "sovereign immunity".
In a statement, the Italian government said the ruling "encourages further commitment" in efforts to get Salvatore Girone and Massimilano Latorre home.
It said it was "confident" India will recognise "the exclusive jurisdiction of the flag State" for ships operating in international waters.