Italy mulling arbitration over marines dispute with India

Repeated delays by Indian courts influence government decision

(ANSA) - Rome, May 5 - The Italian government is considering seeking international arbitration in its dispute with India over two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen during an anti-piracy mission in 2012, government sources said Tuesday.
    The possibility is being considered increasingly in the light of repeated delays by Indian courts in the case, the rebuffal by Narendra Modi's Indian government of Italian diplomatic mediation efforts and evaluations made by a team of international lawyers who follow the case for Italy.
    The Corriere della Sera newspaper cited leaks to this effect Tuesday in an article that said the government already has decided to have recourse to arbitration.
    Government sources did not deny the report but said that for the moment it is only a "hypothesis" under consideration. Marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore 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.
    Latorre is currently in Italy for medical treatment after suffering a stroke last summer and then undergoing heart surgery in January.
    He is due to return to India on July 15.
    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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