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Renzi promises fast resolution for marines in India

Premier says Italy will 'act with honour' as marines have done

25 February, 18:07
Renzi promises fast resolution for marines in India (See related) (ANSA) - Rome, February 25 - Premier Matteo Renzi on Tuesday promised to work "with a sense of honour" for a quick resolution to the case of two anti-piracy Italian marines in India for two years without charge in a deadly shooting incident. Renzi, who spoke before a House confidence vote, said he would act with the same honour as has been shown by the two marines. On Monday, Renzi called the case "absurd and shocking," and said the marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, have been stuck "for too long" in New Delhi.

Earlier Monday, Indian prosecutors told the supreme court in New Delhi that they were in favour of dropping a request that the Italian marines 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 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. The marines are accused of allegedly killing fishermen Valentine (aka Gelastine) and Ajesh Binki after reportedly 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.

The two marines have been living and working at the Italian embassy in India pending charges in the case.