Lunedì, 24 Settembre 2018
NEW DELHI

India marines to be tried by normal court

English
© ANSA

New Delhi, April 5 - Two Italian marines accused of
killing two Indian fishermen will be tried by a normal court
that regularly adjudicates murder cases, and not a special court
only giving sentences up to seven years, Indian Justice Minister
Ashwani Kumar said Friday.
A new probe is now in the hands of India's anti-terrorist
National Investigation Agency (NIA), officials told ANSA Friday.
An anti-terrorist inspector is on the case and the death
penalty is possible, they said.
"Inspector general P.V. Rama Sastry is in charge now," a NIA
spokesman told ANSA.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told ANSA that
NIA would restart the probe from the initial charges, which did
not rule out the death penalty.
There have been conflicting reports this week about a new
probe by the Indian secret service and the powers of the court.
On Wednesday New Delhi said there was "nothing official" in
reports about a special court which could only hand down limited
sentences or the investigating body.
Italy returned the marines to India after reportedly
receiving assurances they would not face the death penalty,
after a diplomatic tussle in which the Italian ambassador was
prevented from leaving India and the Italian foreign minister
eventually resigned.
On Monday, reports said the case had been reassigned from
local authorities to the NIA, which was set up after the 2008
terrorist attacks in Mumbai to combat national-security threats.
Italian officials are closely watching developments in the
case, which surrounds Italian anti-pirate marines Massimiliano
Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who are in India on charges of
shooting and killing fishermen Jelestine Valentine and Ajesh
Binki after allegedly mistaking them for pirates while guarding
a mercantile ship off the Kerala coast in February 2012.
Despite last week's controversial resignation of Foreign
Minister Giulio Terzi, accused by outgoing Premier Mario Monti
of having an eye to a political career on the centre right,
diplomatic tempers seemed to have cooled after Italy climbed
down after earlier reneging on a pledge to send the men back.
following a four-week parole to vote in the February 24-25
general election.
The pair had previously returned from a Christmas break.
On Wednesday a spokesman from the Indian foreign ministry
called the case "one of a kind" and "obviously very delicate".
"We know quite well that the (Indian) Supreme Court expects
us to quickly put together a special tribunal. We are working on
it, and we will be ready for the next hearing scheduled April
16," said Syed Akbaruddin.
He also added that the new Indian ambassador to Italy,
Ranjit Gupta, is scheduled to be instated "by the end of the
month".
Gupta was supposed to assume the post in January, but the
government opted to suspend the transition amid tensions over
the case of the Italian marines.

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