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Renzi to discuss marines case with Ban Ki-moon - source

Italt wants UN support in bid to bring back servicemen

02 April, 16:53
Renzi to discuss marines case with Ban Ki-moon - source (ANSA) - Brussels, April 2 - Italian Premier Matteo Renzi will talk to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon about the case of two Italian marines held in India for allegedly killing two Indian fisherman at the sidelines of Wednesday's EU-Africa summit in Brussels, ANSA sources said.

Italy has been lobbying for international support over the case of marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who are accused of killing fishermen Valentine (aka Gelastine) and Ajesh Binki after allegedly mistaking them for pirates and reportedly opening fire on their fishing trawler in February 2012.

The incident occurred during an anti-piracy mission while the marines were guarding the privately owned Italian-flagged oil-tanker MT Enrica Lexie off the coast of the southern Indian state of Kerala.

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

Rome is seeking international arbitration in the case, which it argues is not India's jurisdiction as the incident took place outside the country's territorial waters.

It also says the marines should be exempt from prosecution in India because they are servicemen who were working on an anti-piracy mission.

Italy has won the backing of the European Union, which has said the case endangers international anti-piracy operations.

In February Ban irked many Italians when he called the case "bilateral".