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Italian government approaches UN, doesn't want their marines to face trial in India

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 24 August 2015, 12:49 IST

A United Nations tribunal is expected to give a ruling today on Italy's plea that two of its marines accused of killing Indian fishermen in 2012 should be handed over by India, so that they could face the trial in their own country.

What is the Italian government pleading?

  • The government is pleading that the UN law grants jurisdiction in such cases to the country that owns the ship involved in any incident at sea. The country has appealed the International Tribunal on Law of the Sea to restrict India from taking action against its marines.

Who are accused?

  • The marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who were on board the oil tanker "Enrica Lexie", have been accused of killing two unarmed Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast in February, 2012.
  • Italy maintains that the shooting took place in international waters and that the fishermen were mistaken for pirates.
  • Sergeant Girone is out on bail in India and sergeant Latorre has been given permission by the Supreme Court to stay in Italy for another six months for medical treatment.

India's counter argument

  • India has asked the UN tribunal to reject Italy's plea, asserting that it has full jurisdiction as the incident took place in its exclusive economic zone.
  • India claims that the marines used automatic weapons without warning and shot in head and stomach of the two fishermen. This case is not covered by Article 97 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea but rather a double murder at sea.
  • India has also challenged Italy's contention that it has kept Sergeant Girone as a hostage. The government said that it is surprising that Italy is insensitive to the interests and plight of the victims of crime and is adopting a discriminatory attitude.
First published: 24 August 2015, 12:49 IST