Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Italian marines happy not to return to India for trial

NEW DELHI:  The two Italian marines, Salvatore Latorre and Massimiliano Girone, have expressed their happiness after their Foreign Ministry made it clear that the marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen would not return to India when their court-allowed leave ends this month.

The two marines were allowed to go back to Italy to vote in February's General Elections.

The marines, who had allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen in the Arabian Sea, said they were happy to stay back in Italy and join work.

"Now we are finally happy. We are happy to go back to work," Latorre told Italy's ANSA news agency.

However, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing, Tariq Anwar is hopeful of resolution of the Italian marines' crisis.

"The Indian External Affairs Ministry is examining the issue. I think the MEA has taken view of this decision and they have chosen to review the situation and talk to their Italian counterparts, after talks some solution will come out," said Tariq Anwar, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing.

Two Italian sailors charged with killing two Indian fishermen lost their Supreme Court bid in January this year to be tried on home soil.

The sailors, members of a military security team protecting the cargo ship Enrica Lexie, said they mistook the fishermen for pirates off the southern Indian state of Kerala in February 2012.

Italy challenged India's right to try the sailors in Supreme Court, saying the shooting took place in international waters, outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.

Indian authorities accuse the sailors of shooting unarmed fishermen in a "contiguous zone" where Indian law applies.

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