The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear two petitions filed by the Italian Government against the Indian Government's decision to invoke anti-piracy and anti-terrorism act on the two Italian marines accused of killing fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 18.
"The attorney general had presented an option which is the way of utilising Suppression of Unlawful Activities Act (SUA Act) or the anti piracy and anti terrorism act. Our lawyer on behalf of the government of Italy was very clear that this is not acceptable," Special Envoy of the Italian Government Staffan De Mistura told media here today.
De Mistura also said that this decision of the attorney general does not make Italy a friendly country of India. "The international mobilization against the concept of having a country accused of terrorism for an incident in international waters by two of its own military is going to continue. I cannot forecast what will be the position of my government on these grave decisions by the attorney general to still utilize the SUA Act in a case regarding to Italian military on international waters," he added.
Rome harshly criticised an Indian decision to try the accused Italian marines under an anti-piracy and anti-terrorism act.
Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, part of a military security team protecting a cargo ship off the coast of Kerala, say they thought the fishermen were pirates and fired shots to warn them off in February 2012.
On Friday, Attorney General said the marines would be tried under an anti-piracy and anti-terrorism act that provides for capital punishment, but that death sentences would be excluded as a possible sentence. Charges have yet to be filed against the two, partly due to confusion as to what law the men should be prosecuted under. They are on bail but cannot leave India.
The Italian government has said that the shooting took place in international waters and that the marines should be tried at home. The Indian government says the marines killed unarmed fishermen on the outer edges of its territorial waters.