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Put aside doubts on marines' trial: Khurshid to Italy

April 26, 2013 18:40 IST

Seeking to re-assure Italy, India on Friday said any doubts on Italian marines being put on trial for committing a terror act should be set aside as the National Investigation Agency is the only agency available to the government for investigating the killing of two Indian fishermen in high seas.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said he would read the assignment of the task to the NIA, not through the NIA Act but by nomination made through the order of the Supreme Court.

"Therefore any doubts that this really amounts to an investigation into a terror act should be set aside immediately. It is just one agency available to the government that under the orders of the Supreme Court can be used for the investigation," he said.

The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the NIA to probe the case against two Italian marines -- Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone -- accused of killing two Indian fishermen in February last and asked a special court to conduct the trial on a day-to-day basis after the chargesheet is filed.

Khurshid, who is in the Kazakh capital to attend a meeting on Afghanistan, said he had not read the judgment but felt that if it was communicated and reported "in the right manner," Italians should not have any concern.

"Their concern was -- are you charging us with a terrorist act. That was their concern. But that is not what it is. But I say this with a caveat that I have not read the judgment," he said.

"My instinct tells me that that is what would be in the judgment. So, if the judgment is read carefully and it is reported carefully, then there should be no reason for any disquiet as far as the Italian government is concerned. And I don’t think therefore there would be any reason for discomfort to the government of India," Khurshid said.

Sagar Kulkarni In Almaty
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