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Indian ministers pressing for death-penalty ruling by Feb 3

'EU discussing issue in New Delhi' says Italian foreign minister

24 January, 14:43
Indian ministers pressing for death-penalty ruling by Feb 3 (ANSA) - Davos, January 24 - Indian ministers on Friday assured Italy they would press their government for a decision by February 3 on whether two Italian marines will face the death penalty for allegedly killing two Indian fishermen. That comes according to Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino after meeting with Indian finance and commerce ministers in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum. Bonino added that European Union functionaries discussed the issue in New Delhi Friday. The EU has threatened economic consequences if India does not rule out the death penalty in the case of Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone. The pair are accused of killing fishermen Valentine (aka Gelastine) and Ajesh Binki after allegedly mistaking them for pirates and opening fire on their fishing trawler while guarding the privately owned Italian-flagged oil-tanker MT Enrica Lexie off the coast of Kerala on February 15, 2012. Italy has appealed to the Indian Supreme Court amid fears that India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) intends to prosecute the pair under a harsh anti-terrorism law that bears the death penalty, despite previous reassurances from the Indian foreign ministry that the marines would not face capital punishment.