Important that marines should wait in Italy says Gentiloni

Time of arbitration expected says FM

(ANSA) - Tirana, January 20 - Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Wednesday the fact that two marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen in 2012 should both await an arbitration verdict in Italy was more important than the long time needed for the verdict, which a court in The Hague said earlier in the day would not come before August 2018. "Whether it is long or short, it's the usual time of arbitration," he said. "We hope that this period may see (Massimiliano) Latorre and (Salvatore) Girone in Italy." He said "there will be a first response on this from the arbitration court in March, on the request that Girone can spend the arbitration period in Italy". On Wednesday, the court also confirmed a March 30-31 hearing on Italy's December request to get Girone back from India for the duration of the arbitration regarding him and fellow anti-piracy marine Latorre.
    The arbitration court also said Italy must file a written statement of its version of events by September 16 this year and India must do the same by March 31, 2017.
    The court also set further deadlines for both sides to respond to one another's initial statements, of July 28, 2017, for Italy and December 1, 2017, for India.
    If the latter has raised objections over jurisdiction or admissibility at the point, Italy will have one last chance to rebut by February 2, 2018.
    After that, the arbitration court will have six months to come to a verdict. It reserves the right to extend that time, however.
    The long-running affair has caused friction between India and Italy, which has asked for international arbitration since India failed to charge either of the servicemen, while detaining them for years.


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