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Italian marines 'won't face death penalty'

Fears among diplomats prosecutors wanted capital punishment

09 January, 13:05
Italian marines 'won't face death penalty' (ANSA) - New Delhi, January 9 - Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid has reminded the country's Home Affairs Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde that New Delhi has given Rome reassurances that the "death penalty cannot be applied" in the case of two Italian marines accused of murdering two Indian fisherman in 2012, the CNN-IBN network reported Thursday. Lawyers representing the marines managed to have a hearing in their trial postponed Wednesday, amid fears in Italian diplomatic circles that prosecutors wanted to press for capital punishment. Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone are accused of killing Ajesh Binki and Valentine aka Gelastine on February 15, 2012, when the marines allegedly opened fire on their fishing trawler from the privately owned Italian-flagged oil-tanker MT Enrica Lexie. The shooting occurred just off the coast of Kerala in southern India, near traditional Indian fishing grounds in the Laccadive Sea. The incident sparked a diplomatic row between the governments of India and Italy, stemming from a conflict of opinions over legal jurisdiction and functional immunity.