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Italy seeks speedy trial of its marines in fishermen death case

Italy seeks speedy trial of its marines in fishermen death case

New Delhi: Italy's Deputy Foreign Minister Staffan de Mistura has met with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid in Delhi seeking speedy trial for the two Italian marines who are facing trial for allegedly killing two Indian fishermen.

"Mistura reached Delhi yesterday and prior to his (Khurshid's) departure (for Norway) late last night, he did meet Mistura.

"They had a discussion and this was related to the desire of Italian government to have a speedy trial for the two marines," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said in Delhi.

He said Mr Mistura apprised Mr Khurshid of the view of the Italian government on this and the External Affairs Minister "explained the situation based on his understanding of where the judicial process is".

Told that this was the fifth meeting between the two leaders, Mr Akbaruddin said the "judicial process has its own speed, it has its own manner of proceedings".

He said India has acknowledged that the marines issue is a case which has not happened previously between India and Italy.

"And as two friendly countries, we can only work together and try and see in a sui generis manner in a sui generis (unique in its own characteristics) case which has no precedent, work out systems which is acceptable to both and that is what we are doing," Mr Akbaruddin said.

He underlined that the executive in India has limited role in terms of judicial outcomes except to make the case in front of the judiciary.

"We are trying to do that. We are trying to do this as quickly as possible and both India and Italy have repeated this commitment that the idea is to ensure that this matter is expeditiously resolved because we do not want this to be a major issue between the two countries which otherwise enjoy excellent relations," he said.

On February 15, 2012, two Indian fishermen on a fishing boat were shot dead allegedly by members of an Italian Vessel Protection Detachment deployed on MT Enrica Lexie at approximately 20.5 nautical miles off the coast of Kerala.

The two marines-- Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone -- are being tried for murder by Indian investigating authorities.

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