03/28/2014, 00.00
INDIA - ITALY
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Indian Supreme Court upholds Italian Marines' plea

India's highest court stays proceedings for four weeks. Marines' lawyers had pleaded against the involvement of India's anti-terrorism federal agency in the case.

New Delhi (AsiaNews/Agencies) - India's Supreme Court has stayed the trial of Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, two marines from the San Marco Regiment of the Italian Navy, who are on trial for the death in February 2012 of two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala.

Their lawyers presented a plea against the involvement of India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the case.

The Supreme Court, which stayed the proceedings for four weeks, issued a notice to the NIA and the Indian government, to answer the plea by the Italian Marines challenging the NIA's right to prosecute and probe the case.

In February, the Indian government told the Supreme Court that the two marines would not be tried under Article 3 (1) G of the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA), which allows for the death penalty, but rather under Article 3 (1) A, which provides for a maximum of 10 years in prison.

For Italy, today's Supreme Court decision backs its argument, namely that the NIA has no jurisdiction in the case.

Italian special envoy Staffan de Mistura also noted that his government does not recognise India's jurisdiction in the case, noting that Italy will not participate in the trial of the two Italian marines.

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