Italian foreign minister quits over marines' return

Rome, March 26 : Italy's Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi Tuesday said he was resigning to protest his government's decision to send two Italian marines, accused of killing two Indian fishermen, back to India to face trial, reported Xinhua.

Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone returned to India March 22 following assurance that they would not face the death penalty.

The move caused anger among people in Italy, who had called for Terzi to resign.

Italy's Ambassador to India Daniele Mancini had given an undertaking to the Supreme Court that the marines would return by March 22 after voting in Italy' national polls.

But March 11, Italy told India the marines would not be sent back, leading to a diplomatic row.

Following this, Mancini was restrained by the court from leaving India for reneging on his word.

The two marines, posted aboard oil tanker MV Enrica Lexie on security duty, Feb 15, 2012, opened fire at a fishing boat off the coast of Kerala, suspecting that the boat carried pirates. Two fishermen -- Ajesh Binki and Gelastine -- were killed in the firing.

--IANS (Posted on 26-03-2013)

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