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Italian marines to serve jail term at home if convicted

Italian marines to serve jail term at home if convicted

New Delhi: According to a recent agreement between India and Italy that allows repatriation of their nationals lodged in the jails of the other country, the two Italian marines being tried for the alleged murder of two fishermen last year would have the option, if convicted, of serving their sentence in their home country.

The agreement that became operational on December 17 last year following its ratification by both the countries, allows the marines, Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre exercise the option of serving their sentence in Italy, if and when they are convicted by an Indian court.

The two are accused of gunning down two Kerala fishermen on a fishing boat, about 20 nautical miles off the Kerala coast, on February 15 last year, in an apparent case of mistaken identity. The Italians claim that they opened fire because they suspected the fishermen to be pirates.

The agreement with Italy was signed in January last year, about a month before the incident.

After the incident, the Italian government acted with a sense of urgency to get the agreement ratified by their parliament, and the two countries were able to exchange the ratification documents in December last year.

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