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Italy asks India to issue marines verdict before Christmas

Request made through Indian ambassador in Rome

13 December, 19:08
Italy asks India to issue marines verdict before Christmas (ANSA) - Rome, December 13 - Italy on Thursday officially requested India's Supreme Court issue its verdict on a case concerning two anti-pirate marines being tried for allegedly killing two local fishermen before the Christmas festivities.

The Italian Foreign Ministry made the request through the local Indian ambassador, who was called to meet with Secretary General Michele Valensise at the request of Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi.

Marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone have been at the centre of a diplomatic row between Italy and India since being detained in February for charges that include the homicide "It is with deep perplexity and concern that the Italian government has seen that three months after the closing arguments, the Supreme Court has still not issued a verdict in Italy's petition", according to a statement issued by the Italian Foreign Ministry. Italy had petitioned that it should have jurisdiction over the case because the incident took place on an Italian ship.

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