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Italy 'astounded' by Indian dithering over marines case

Italian servicemen accused of killing Indian fishermen

11 October, 11:07
Italy 'astounded' by Indian dithering over marines case (ANSA) - Rome, October 11 - Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said on Thursday that he was "astounded and disconcerted" by the Indian justice system's dithering over the case of two Italian anti-pirate marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen in February.

India's Supreme Court has still not given its ruling on Italy's petition that it should have jurisdiction over the case because the incident took place on an Italian ship.

The trial of marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone in the southern Indian city of Kollam for charges that include the homicide of fishermen Jelestine Valentine and Ajesh Binki was adjourned on Thursday until November 8 while the local court waits for the Supreme Court's decision.

Terzi told a House session that it was incredible that a "State based on the rule of law like India is not capable of showing courage to give a fast ruling that brings our marines back home".

The Italian government has in the past stated it believes that, regardless of who has jurisdiction, the marines should be exempt from prosecution in India as they were military personnel working on an anti-piracy mission.

Latorre and Girone have been at the centre of a diplomatic row between Italy and India since being detained in February.

They were granted bail in June, but must remain in Indian territory.