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NATO head 'concerned' over India marines terror charge

'Negative implications' for fight against piracy

12 February, 15:55
NATO head 'concerned' over India marines terror charge (see previous).

(ANSA) - Brussels, February 12 - NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Wednesday he was "personally concerned" that two Italian anti-piracy marines accused of murdering two Indian fishermen two years ago are facing terrorism charges. He said the case could have "negative implications" for the fight against piracy, echoing European Union officials.

Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone are facing trial allegedly for killing two fishermen they mistook as pirates.

India has invoked the international SUA Act against piracy and terrorism in the slaying of Ajesh Binki and Valentine alias Gelastine on board an Indian trawler off the Kerala coast of southern India on February 15, 2012.

Indian prosecutors have said they will not seek the death penalty but a maximum of 10 years.

Italy says the incident took place in international waters and has sought to have the case heard in Italy.

It appealed to the United Nations to uphold the marines' rights but UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday it was a bilateral issue.