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'Marines must be tried in Italy' repeats envoy

'Must come back to Italy'

25 February, 13:08
'Marines must be tried in Italy' repeats envoy (see previous).

(ANSA) - Rome, February 25 - Two Italian anti-piracy marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen two years ago must be tried in Italy, the Italian government's envoy on the case repeated Tuesday.

Staffan de Mistura said that Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre, "if one day were to be tried, they must be tried in Italy".

"They must come home," he said.

Italy has contested India's jurisdiction over the incident, which took place in international waters. Rome has also protested over a long series of delays, the latest of which came on Monday when the Indian supreme court adjourned hearings for two weeks after prosecutors dropped a tough anti-piracy and anti-terrorism law that could have mandated the death penalty.

The Italian government claimed credit for the decision to waive the law, saying its firmness and enlistment of support from the EU and NATO had forced New Delhi to give in.

De Mistura said Matteo Renzi's new government "will never give up, like the previous ones".

Although the anti-terrorism law has been dropped the case, the case is currently still in the hands of India's anti-terrorism police pending a ruling.

Indian prosecutors say the pair might face up to 10 years in jail.

Italian media have speculated that international support for Italy could wane now India has dropped the anti-terror law - which had serious implications for the global anti-piracy fight.