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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

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We suspect Italian Marines will be bailed out: BJP
PTI
New Delhi, April 04, 2013
First Published: 22:04 IST(4/4/2013)
Last Updated: 22:09 IST(4/4/2013)

BJP on Thursday said it suspected the bailing out of two Italian Marines facing trial for killing two Indian fishermen off the Indian coastline in Kerala last year and demanded that legal action be taken against them for their offence.

"Whatever is happening as far as the Italian Marines are concerned, the reports definitely raise suspicion that there is an effort to bail them out at the earliest," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

He said, "We demand that the offence they have committed of killing two Indians on Indian territory and whatever legal action against them is required be taken against them."

The two Italian Marines, Massimiliano Latore and Salvatore Girone, arrested in connection with the killing of the fishermen in February last year, had returned to India on March 22 to meet the deadline set by the Supreme Court.

The Italian government earlier in a dramatic U-turn had agreed to send them back after having refused to do so.

The apex court had on January 18 said the marines onboard the merchant ship 'Enrica Lexie', accused of shooting dead the two fishermen in February last year, be shifted to Delhi and be under the 'custody' of the Supreme Court till the Centre constitutes a special court to hold their trial.

"The incident of firing from the Italian vessel on the Indian vessel having occurred within the Contiguous Zone, the Union of India is entitled to prosecute the two Italian marines under the criminal justice system prevalent in the country," the bench had said.

Italy had reneged on its assurance to the Supreme Court on sending back the marines but later gave in after Indian government and the apex court took a firm stand with New Delhi warning that ties with Rome could be downgraded.

Government had said India has given assurances to Italy that the accused marines will not face death penalty and will not be liable for arrest if they return by the deadline set by the Supreme Court.


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