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Indian FM praises dropping anti-piracy law against marines

Spokesperson calls it 'a legal case, not a diplomatic one'

24 February, 17:32
Indian FM praises dropping anti-piracy law against marines (ANSA) - New, Delhi, February 24 - The Indian foreign ministry expressed its approval of Monday's decision not to invoke the anti-piracy SUA Act against two Italian marines accused of killing Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala in 2012.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said that the law that the marines would be tried under had been indicated by the government's legal experts and that ''this is not a case of doing favors to anyone'' but of making sure that those accused of crimes can answer to the charges within the Indian legal system. He went on to say that the issue was not a ''bilateral one between India and Italy, or a multilateral one involving India and any other country''.

''This is a legal matter subject to Indian laws,'' he stressed, expressing the hope that Indian authorities would be allowed to proceed without delay. The marines 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 been seeking support internationally in the case.