Italy has decided to enter into international arbitration with India over the case of two Italian marines accused in the 2012 shooting of two Indian fishermen.
The Italian foreign ministry said Friday that the decision was taken after three years of negotiations with India and the “impossibility of arriving at a solution to the controversy”.
The two marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, are accused of killing the two fishermen while assigned to anti-piracy duty aboard an Italian cargo ship off India’s southwestern coast.
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Italy maintains the shooting occurred in international waters, that the fishermen were mistaken for pirates and that the case should be heard in an Italian court.
Italy’s decision may bring under cloud the possibility of Latorre’s return to India. Latorre was allowed to stay in Italy till July 15 by the Supreme Court on medical grounds.
In April, the court had permitted an extension of Latorre’s stay in his native country to enable him to undergo intensive rehabilitation therapy in his home environment to help him recover from a brain stroke.
The court had also said it was high time the marines faced the trial for homicide and get over with it “one way or another”.
The trial at a special court in Delhi is stuck over the issue of whether the investigation conducted in the case by the National Investigation Agency was valid or not. The question relating to NIA’s jurisdiction is pending before the top court, which has so far only been able to deal with some miscellaneous applications.