India fumes as European Parliament adopts resolution on Italian marines

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BRUSSELS/NEW DELHI: The European Parliament has adopted a resolution asking India to allow the return of two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen, drawing a sharp reaction from New Delhi which termed the step as not "well advised" as the matter was sub judice.

Taking exception to the European Parliament's decision, India on Friday said the case involving the two Italian marines is sub judice, and is being discussed between India and Italy.

India-Italy relations faces tough time

"The Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, in its ruling on 14th January, 2015, has granted three months extension to the Italian marine, Massimiliano Latorre, for his stay in Italy on health grounds and the other marine, Salvatore Girone is living in the Italian embassy in New Delhi.

"Under these circumstances, the European Parliament would have been well advised not to adopt the resolution," official spokesperson in external affairs ministry Syed Akbaruddin said in New Delhi.

In a late night development, the European Parliament in Strasbourg approved a resolution on the issue of two Italian marines. The motion called for, among other things, the pair to be allowed to return to Italy and change of jurisdiction.

"The European Parliament hopes that diplomatic dispute between Italy and India over the prosecution of two Italian marines...will soon be settled, under Italian jurisdiction and/or through international arbitration," a press release by European Parliament said quoting the resolution.

Members also called for the marines to be repatriated, as their detention without charge is a "serious breach of human rights", it said.

In a joint resolution approved by a show of hands, the members expressed great sadness at the tragic death of the two Indian fishermen, but also grave concerns about the detention of the marines, it said.

The two marines, Marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, were arrested on murder charges for the killing of two Indian fisherman off the coast of Kerala in February 15, 2012. The two maintain that they fired at the fishermen after mistaking them for pirates while guarding the ship 'Enrica Lexie'.

The shooting incident sparked a diplomatic row between India and Italy over conflicting opinions on jurisdiction and immunity.

PTI

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