Health scare shows marines situation untenable - minister

Italian pair have been held in India since 2012

(ANSA) - Rome, September 3 - Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti said Wednesday that the stroke-like attack suffered at the weekend by one of two Italian marines being held in India showed the situation was "untenable". Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre, who have been held in India since 2012, are accused of killing two India fishermen during an anti-piracy mission. Doctors said Wednesday that Latorre is making "satisfactory" progress after the minor transient ischemic attack (TIA) he suffered Sunday.
    "The attack makes it even more clear that the situation of the two marines is untenable," Pinotti told a joint session of the Lower House and Senate foreign affairs and defence committees. Premier Matteo Renzi said Wednesday he had discussed the case with Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi and would be talking to him again.
    Latorre and Girone 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.
    Rome has protested a long series of delays in the case, which has caused major diplomatic friction between the countries.
    It successfully fought to ensure New Delhi took the death penalty off the table and dropped the application of a severe anti-terrorism, anti-piracy law, which it said would have equated Italy with a terrorist state.
    Rome argues the case is not in 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, and allowed to return home.


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