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Marines death-penalty ruling postponed again

Final hearing on harsh law February 10

03 February, 10:35
Marines death-penalty ruling postponed again (ANSA) - New Delhi, February 3 - An Indian court on Monday postponed for one week a long-awaited ruling on how to proceed against two Italian marines possibly facing the death penalty for alleged murder, prompting Italy to request the pair be sent home in the meantime, two years after the incident. "We asked the court, given the indecision of the prosecution, to authorize the marines' return to Italy," special government envoy Staffan De Mistura told ANSA. The ruling regards whether the marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, will face a harsh anti-terrorism law that carries the death penalty for allegedly killing two Indian fishermen while on an anti-piracy mission.

"We'll repeat this request again next Monday, regardless of the decision," added De Mistura. "The prosecution can no longer play with time. We have calculated with our lawyer 25 judicial postponements without one piece of documentation". The judge in India said a ruling next Monday was imminent, speeding up a deadline announced last last week that had Italy waiting until February 25.

The case has ruptured relations between Italy and India, and between India and the European Union, which has threatened economic consequences against it if the death penalty is not removed from the table.