Marines' trial complicated relations, says India

Marines' trial complicated relations, says India

India on Wednesday said that its relations with Italy were ‘complicated’ by the trial of the two marines from the South European country for killing two fishermen of the coast of Kerala in February 2012.

New Delhi, however, also pointed out that the government’s recent move to drop charges against the marines under a stringent anti-piracy law indicated that India and Italy could work together to find a way out and mend the fences.

“I think the issue of the marines has complicated our relations with Italy,” Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh told journalists on Wednesday. “However,” she added, “the fact is that the charges against the marines under the SUA (Act) have been dropped.

This is an indication that there is a way forward”.

The government on Monday told the Supreme Court that the two Italian Navy personnel, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, would not be prosecuted under the stringent Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the safety of Maritime Navigation (or the SUA Act) for killing two fishermen.

Italy strongly protested against the move to prosecute the marines under the SUA Act, which has provisions of capital punishment for causing death.

New Delhi had in March 2013 clarified to Rome that the case against the marines would not fall in the “rarest of rare” category and thus would not attract death penalty.

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