X
UCA News

India

India drops charges against Italian marines who killed fishermen

Italy maintains that the marines fired on the fishing boat because it failed to heed warnings to stay away

AFP, Rome

AFP, Rome

Published: June 15, 2021 11:03 AM GMT

Updated: June 16, 2021 03:51 AM GMT

India drops charges against Italian marines who killed fishermen

Traditional fishermen cleaning their net on the coast of Kollam in Kerala. Two Italian marines shot and killed two fishermen off the coast of Kollam in 2012. (Photo: UCA News files) 

All legal proceedings have been dropped in India against two Italian marines who shot and killed two fishermen off the coast of Kerala in 2012, Italy's foreign minister said Tuesday.

Both the victims were Catholics.

"All legal proceedings in India against our two marines... have been closed," tweeted Luigi Di Maio. "It definitively brings this long episode to an end."

The shelving of the case comes two months after India said it was prepared to accept compensation of 100 million rupees, or about 1.1 million euros, from Italy for the families of the two fishermen, following prolonged negotiations.

Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre were accused of murder for shooting the unarmed fishermen while protecting an Italian oil tanker as part of an anti-piracy mission off the southern Indian coast.

While Italy argued the marines were in international waters and had fired on the fishing boat because it failed to heed warnings to stay away, India called it a "double murder at sea" in which one fisherman was shot in the head and the other in the stomach.

The long-running case that soured relations between both countries, each of which claimed jurisdiction, made its way to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, which helps resolve disputes among states.

Last year, the PCA ruled that the marines were entitled to immunity in the case.

In 2016, the same tribunal allowed Girone, who had been living in the Italian embassy in New Delhi, to return to Italy. Latorre had already returned home two years earlier for treatment after suffering a stroke.

Both marines were members of Italy's elite San Marco Marine regiment.

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
UCAN Ad
slavery-in-asia
 
The Pontificate - Contribute to help UCA News
The Pontificate - Contribute to help UCA News
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia