Italian marines to return to India to face trial

New Delhi/March 22
Two Italian marines, Maximilian Latorre and Savior Pool who were charged with murder of two Kerala fishermen, will return to India today to face trial as per the deadline set by the Supreme Court of India.
The decision by Italian government has been seen as a big relief for UPA government which is facing flak from opposition parties for running ‘lame duck’ government with Foreign Affairs ministry and Union Home ministry is terming the decision as the result of tough decisions taken by the Government of India. Meanwhile, the Italian foreign office has said that the decision to return the marines to India was taken after they were assured that there will be no death penalty for the marines. The Deputy Foreign Minister of Italy, Staffan De Mistura reportedly told Italian media that the Indian government has assured them that there will be no death penalty against them.
India’s Foreign Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said here today that it is the diplomacy which had resulted in Italy’s decision to send back two marines and the decision will be conveyed to the Supreme Court through proper procedure and he will inform Parliament about it.
Union Finance minister, P Chidambaram also termed the Italy’s decision to send back marines as the success of Indian diplomacy. Meanwhile, BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy welcomed the decision and said that Indian government’s diplomacy and the Supreme Court of India’s tough stance on the issue seems to bring the desirous result.
Earlier on March 18, Italy’s Foreign Affairs ministry said that Italy has always held that the conduct of the Government of India violated the international law obligations imposed on India by virtue of customary law and treaty law, UNCLOS. Due to the lack of ‘response of India to the Italian request to enable such cooperation, Italy has formally confirmed to the Indian Government that the riflemen of Marina Maximilian Latorre and Savior Pool will not return to India at the end of the permission granted to them.
The marines were allowed by the Supreme Court to go back to Italy for four weeks in February this year after Italian government had given an undertaking in the Supreme Court that Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone will return to India after the voting.
The marines were arrested by the Kerala police in February 2012 after they allegedly fired at the vessel off Kerala coast, killing the two Indian fishermen.