India tells Italy to send witnesses in marines case

India tells Italy to send witnesses in marines case

India tells Italy to send witnesses in marines case

After Italy’s refusal to send four witnesses to India in the marines case, New Delhi has once again asked for their immediate appearance saying their non-appearance will lead to delay in the trial.

The four marines were summoned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as they were onboard the Italian vessel “Enrica Lexie” and witnessed their colleagues Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone allegedly shot dead two fishermen off the Kerala coast. The two marines are slapped with murder charges.

However, Italy had refused to send the witnesses to India citing that they have refused to go to India for deposition. The Home Ministry has now again requested Italy to immediately send the witnesses saying their reluctance is only delaying the trial and jeopardising the future of two of their accused colleagues now lodged here.

The Ministry and NIA are evaluating various options but the view is that the four marines must come back to testify in the trial. Earlier this year, there was a diplomatic battle between both the countries after Rome initially refused to send back the accused marines, prompting the Supreme Court to restrain the Italian Ambassador from leaving the country.

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