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India's decision on marines 'fruit of Italian firmness': Italy

Tuesday, 25 February 2014 - 9:02am IST | Agency: PTI

Hours after India decided not to prosecute two of its marines accused of killing Indian fishermen under the stringent anti-piracy SUA law, Italy today said the decision was the "fruit of Italian firmness".

The decision not to "apply the anti-terrorism law was the fruit of Italian firmness", Italian Premier Matteo Renzi said after chairing a meeting of a task force on the marines.

Italy would continue to push to have the case assessed by international bodies, Renzi was quoted as saying by Italian news agency ANSA.

Earlier in the day in New Delhi, the Indian government told the country's Supreme Court that marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone accused of killing two Indian fishermen off Kerala coast in 2012 will not be prosecuted under the SUA law that attracts death penalty.

The marines shot dead two fishermen whom they believed to be pirates, sparking diplomatic tensions between the two countries.

Earlier this month, Italy had petitioned the UN over the trial of its two marines in India under a strict anti-piracy law. However, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked Rome to resolve the issue bilaterally.

Meanwhile, European Parliament Speaker Martin Schulz today said India should respect international law in the case of the marines.

India should "fully and promptly" uphold laws and "especially" the UN Law of the Sea Convention, Schulz told the Members of the European Parliament. "I share Italy's concerns on the longueurs and delays in the case." 

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