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Chief Of Southern State Thanks PM Over Italian Marines Return To India

posted 23 Mar 2013, 11:53 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 23 Mar 2013, 11:53 ]

Chief Minister of India's southern Kerala state thanks Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for taking strong measures to bring back Italian marines to the country for the trial in the case charged against them in killing of Indian fishermen.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, KERALAINDIA (MARCH 23, 2013)  (ANI) - Chief Minister of southern state of Kerala state Oommen Chandy thanked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for taking strong measures to bring back Italian marines to the country for the trial in the case charged against them in killing of Indian fishermen.

Chandy said this while interacting to mediapersons in Thiruvananthapuram city ofIndia's southern Kerala state on Saturday (March 23).

Chandy urged the federal government to continue the case in the special court ofKerala for the speedy trial.

"In a separate message to the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister I have asked to set up the Supreme Court recommended special court in Kerala. I have suggested the Kollam court for this. We stressed on that it should be in Keralabecause, if the case is shifted to a place like Delhi, all the witnesses will have to go there, all the records of the case till date is in Malayalam. All these have to be translated. There will be lot of technical, practical and legal difficulties in doing these," said Chandy.

The arrival of two Italian marines who are to face trial for killing two Indian fishermen back to New Delhi eased tensions between the two countries on Friday (March 22).

Changing its previous stance, Italy agreed to return its marines Rome secured a promise from New Delhi that the two sailors would not face the death penalty if convicted.

Federal Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid had earlier said in parliament thatIndia had assured Italy that the marines would not face the death penalty, which is only applied in the "rarest of rare cases".

The decision to return the two Italian marines, accused of murdering fishermen, to stand trial in India stirred anger in Italy on Friday leading to calls for Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi to resign.

Mario Monti's caretaker government on Thursday reversed a March 11 decision not to send the marines back from a home visit.

The marines, part of a military security team protecting a tanker from piracy, are accused of shooting two fishermen off the coast of Kerala in February 2012.

They say they fired warning shots at a fishing boat believing it to be a pirate vessel.

The sailors, Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre, arrived back in India on Friday aboard an Italian air force plane, Indian media reported.

India and Italy have been embroiled in an escalating row over the marines, who had been allowed home to vote in the Italian elections in February on condition they returned to India by Friday.

India's Supreme Court ruled in January that India had jurisdiction to try the marines.

But Italy had challenged that decision, arguing that the shooting took place in international waters and that the two should face any trial at home.


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