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Marines' issue: Italian PM calls up Manmohan

New Delhi, April 9, 2013, DHNS: 2:22 IST
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti on Tuesday called up his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh and is understood to have expressed concern over the charges being filed against the two Italian marines which entail death penalty.

Manmohan Singh informed Monti that in view of pending investigation, it would be premature to take a view on specific aspects. However, he recalled the clarifications provided by the Ministry of External Affairs to Italy in its earlier communication prior to the return of the marines.

Latorre Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone, accused of killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 15, 2012, have been slapped charges under Article 302 of IPC (murder) and Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act 2002, both of which entail death penalty. The investigation has been handed over the National Investigation Agency.

The marines were returned to India after the Supreme Court took a firm stand on the issue and New Delhi reportedly gave a “clarification” which Rome termed as “assurance” — that the marines would not be given death penalty and that they would not be arrested on their arrival in India.

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