Italy Opposes India's Move on Marines' Prosecution

Published: 10th February 2014 08:04 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th February 2014 08:04 PM   |  A+A-

Italian Marines2PTI

Italy Monday slammed India's decision to charge two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen under a strict anti-piracy law.

"The charge proposed by the Indian authorities is unacceptable. We totally reject the use of the concept of terrorism," Italy's Prime Minister Enrico Letta said in a tweet.

"Italy and the European Union will respond," he added.

Italy's Foreign Minister Emma Bonino and Defence Minister Mario Mauro also strongly criticised India's move to charge the Italian marines under the piracy law.

Speaking in Brussels, where Italy will assume the rotating EU presidency in the second half of this year, Bonino described the move as "unacceptable and disproportionate". 

Mauro said it was "illogical", "unfounded" and "unjust".

The comments came after India's Supreme Court Monday said it would hold a further hearing Feb 18 to decide how to proceed in the case against marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone.

India's home ministry last week said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) should dilute the charges against Latorre and Girone from murder to violence, sparing them the possibility of being sentenced to death.

Latorre and Girone have been held in India since February 2012 when they allegedly killed two Indian fishermen off the coast of the south Indian state of Kerala, mistaking them for pirates. 

The marines were part of the security team of an Italian oil tanker crossing the Indian Ocean.

India claims jurisdiction in the case while Italy alleges the incident took place in international waters and the marines should be tried in their home country.


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