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Italy mounts pressure on India to release its two marines

February 27, 2012 20:18 IST

Italy has mounted pressure on India to release its two marines, arrested for killing of two Indian fishermen off Kochi coast, claiming they were part of a Vessel Protection Detachment, which enjoys immunity under Italian laws.

As controversy over whether the incident took place in Indian water or international water continued, another Italian minister is expected to arrive here in the next few days to hold dialogue with the Indian government for the release of the two naval guards.

Official sources said Italy is particularly worried over the long standing Indian judicial process if the two marines are tried under Indian laws and has been demanding that they be handed over to Rome for their trial in Italy.

Italians were worried as their Navy was putting lots of pressure on their government. The Italian point of view is that in a crime covered under composite law -- crime originated from one ship and ended on other -- the accused could be tried by either country.

But Indians conveyed that as the ship is in Indian water and the men in the custody were here, Indian law would prevail.

Italy is actively proposing out of court settlement of the issue by paying compensation to the victims' families. However, it is not clear whether the courts in Kerala would accept such proposal.

PTI
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