Defence Minister Antony assures no compromise on Italian marines case

Posted By: PTI
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"No compromise on Italian marines case"
Kochi, Feb 24: Defence Minister AK Antony has said that there is no question of any compromise in case relating to the two Italian marines.

The marines are facing trial for allegedly killing two Indian fishermen off Kerala coast in February 2012.

Talking to reporters here yesterday, Antony said: "We are going ahead with strong action against Italian marines. Now it is being handled with the knowledge of Interior Minister and Foreign Minister, legal proceedings are in progress."

Earlier, Italy had expressed disappointment over the apex court decision to postpone the hearing in the case of the Italian marines charged with the killing of fishermen, an incident that soured diplomatic relations between the two nations.

The government has given its approval to an investigation agency to charge the sailors under its maritime security law, but said it would not seek death penalty if they were found guilty. Italy strongly opposes India invoking the law, arguing that it would equate to treating the men as terrorists.

Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, part of a military security team protecting a cargo ship off the coast of Kerala, say they thought the fishermen were pirates and fired shots to warn them off in February 2012.

Marines are facing trial for allegedly killing two Indian fishermen

Seeking to put an end to the controversy over the movement of two army units near Delhi in 2012, Antony said there is not even a remote chance of a military coup in democratic India.

Replying to queries on China, Antony said the border issue with China was very much under control and the Defence Secretary would be meeting with his Chinese counterpart in New Delhi on Monday.

"Defence Secretary will meet his China counterpart for their annual meeting in Delhi and we have decided to have joint exercise their Army and Air Force. Now, by and large India- China border is peaceful," he said.


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