Italian marines won't return to India
New Delhi, Mar 11 : Two Italian marines, who were accused of shooting to death two Indian fishermen in Kerala last year, will not return to India for trial after being permitted to go home to vote, the Italian government said.
The Supreme Court on Feb 22 had allowed the two Italian marines, who were arrested for gunning down two Indian fishermen mistaking them as sea pirates in February last year, to travel to Italy to cast their votes in the country's elections.
Accusing Indian authorities of violating International rights by detaining the marines, Italy's Foreign Ministry said it was “open” to let an international arbitrator to assess the case.
They said India had not responded to Italian requests to seek a diplomatic solution to the case and there was now a “dispute” between the two countries over the terms of the U.N. Convention of the Law of the Sea.
“Italy has informed the Indian government that, given the formal initiation of an international dispute between the two states, the marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone will not return to India at the end of their home leave granted to them,” it said in a note.
The decision was taken in consultation with Italy's Ministry of Defence and Justice in coordiation with the Italian Prime Minister’s Office, the statement said.
The statement said that India’s decision to hold trial of the marines in that country violated their rights under International law. Italy has argued that the marines should be tried in their home country.
The Italian government said it was open to arriving at a resolution of the dispute through international arbitration or judicial settlement.
India's Ministry of External affairs said that it has received a communication from Italy late Monday and it will “examine it carefully“.
Allowing the plea of the two marines - Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone - and the Italian government to allow them to travel to Italy, a bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir last month said they would travel to Italy under the custody and control of the Ambassador of Italy in India.
The court had directed them to return to India after four weeks.
Earlier, in December, the accused marines were allowed to return home to celebrate Christmas.
They returned to India in January after celebrating Christmas with their families at home.
On Feb 15, 2012, security officials of the Italian cargo vessel Enrica Lexie allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen mistaking them as pirates in the high seas off Ambalapuzha in Kerala. They were subsequently arrested.