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Marines case has implications for Europe says Ashton

Charges in India against Italians have wider importance to EU

10 February, 19:16
Marines case has implications for Europe says Ashton (ANSA) - Brussels, February 10 - The case of two Italian anti-piracy marines facing murder charges in India under an anti-terrorism law has implications for all of Europe, Catherine Ashton, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs, said Monday.

The case has "huge implications for Italy, but also for all countries engaged in anti-piracy," measures, she said.

Earlier in the day, she suggested that the European Union "needs to send a strong message" to New Delhi because measures to combat piracy and even terrorism taken by countries in Europe may be at stake in the case, according to sources quoting her comments to EU ministers.

The two Italian marines face charges of murder after they allegedly killed two fishermen while on anti-piracy duties two years ago.

Sources said that Ashton also told EU ministers that India's application of an anti-terror treaty to the case was "unacceptable". Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone are in India awaiting charges for the murder of Valentine (aka Gelastine) and Ajesh Binki after allegedly opening fire on their fishing trawler while guarding the privately owned Italian-flagged oil-tanker MT Enrica Lexie off the coast of Kerala in February 2012.

A supreme court judge in New Delhi on Monday postponed a long-awaited ruling on whether to charge the pair under anti-terrorism provisions.