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Renzi calls marine crisis 'absurd and shocking'

Premier tells Senate his new government working on the case

24 February, 15:52
Renzi calls marine crisis 'absurd and shocking' (See related) (ANSA) - Rome, February 24 - The case of two Italian marines held in India for two years in two shooting deaths is "absurd and shocking," Premier Matteo Renzi said Monday. Renzi said the pair have been stuck "for too long" in New Delhi and has given them his personal guarantee to see them returned to Italy.

In remarks to the Senate before a confidence vote, Renzi described meetings and phone calls he is making over the case.

Earlier in the day, Indian prosecutors told the supreme court in New Delhi that they were in favour of dropping a request that the Italian marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, be prosecuted under an anti-terrorism, anti-piracy law.

But they said that India's NIA anti-terrorism police should conduct the prosecution. The possible application of the anti-terrorism law in this case caused major diplomatic tension between the two nations, with Rome saying it equated Italy with the being a terrorist State.

The anti-terrorism law calls for the death penalty in the case of a guilty verdict, but the Indian authorities had already excluded the possibility of capital punishment, albeit after lengthy delays and many mixed signals.

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