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India court won't be pressured by anger over marines

Top prosecutor tells RAI govt won't be influenced internally

14 February, 16:33
India court won't be pressured by anger over marines (ANSA) - Rome, February 14 - The Indian authorities have excluded the possibility that internal pressure or anger amongst the local population will influence the trial of two Italian marines facing charges of terrorism and piracy for allegedly killing two Indian fishermen murder, a top prosecutor involved in the case told an Italian State broadcaster Rai.

The government wants a "fair and just trial, and for justice to be done," said the Deputy Prosecutor General of India Mohàn Parasaràn. "The case will be closed as soon as possible, without delays," he added. "The Italians need to be certain that neither the government nor the High Court will be influenced by internal pressures".

Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone are in India awaiting charges for the murder of Valentine (aka Gelastine) and Ajesh Binki after 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.

"We would like to avoid giving the wrong impression about our legal system on an international level," Parasaràn added.

The case has become for India a top-tier diplomatic matter, and the government needs on the one hand to move ahead with its relations with Italy, and on the other with the sentiments of the people of Kerala, Parasaràn said, adding that the international pressures that the nation has been submitted to "are useless" in that India is already concerned about the effects the matter is having on bilateral relations with Italy. The situation in Kerala is delicate, and there could be issues of public unrest as the case unfolds, he said. "The government cannot give the impression that foreign citizens have preferential treatment", Parasaràn said. "Even so, we won't be influenced. We want to resolve this case as soon as possible".