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'Sure EU will intervene on marines' says Bonino

'Built up international and European support on India case'

10 February, 12:55
'Sure EU will intervene on marines' says Bonino (see previous).

(ANSA) - Brussels, February 10 - Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino on Monday said she was sure of "international and European" support in resolving the case of two anti-piracy Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen after mistaking them for pirates two years ago.

Bonino said she was counting on "initiatives and words to intervene in this case, not only on a bilateral level but also at the level of the European Union as such" from a meeting of EU foreign ministers later in the day. She added that India's invocation of the anti-piracy and anti-terrorism 1988 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Navigation, the SUA Convention, was "totally unacceptable".

"We've said that in every way," she said.

Bonino added that the presence of Defence Minister Mario Mauro in India to follow the marines' case was a "strong gesture".

The Indian Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the case until February 18 after prosecutors said they wanted to apply the SUA but in a lighter form that would not mandate the death penalty but 10 years in jail.

Earlier, Italian Premier Enrico Letta said "Italy and the European Union will react" after Indian prosecutors confirmed they are seeking to charge the marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, under the SUA.

"The charge sought by Indian authorities is unacceptable," Letta said on Twitter.