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Italian marines won't return: Khurshid says will respond after reading Italy's letter

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Italian marines wont return: Khurshid says will respond after reading Italys letter
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New Delhi: External affairs minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday said that he will respond only after he reads the letter send by the government of Italy.

He said: "Reading the letter, no point in commenting without reading what they have to say." According to reports, the marines have said they are happy to stay back in Italy and join work.

Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy has also termed as unacceptable Italy's decision not to send its two marines to India, who were being tried for killing two fishermen. He said he will take up the issue with the external affairs ministry.

"I am reaching Delhi (Tuesday) night and I will take this issue up with the external affairs ministry. We are also looking to take up this issue legally," Chandy said after Italy announced that the marines will not be returning to India.

The Italian government claimed that New Delhi "does not have jurisdiction over the case".

Chandy said: "You should see the earnestness in how Kerala pursued this case in the... courts and also in the apex court in the country. Our stand remains the same that they should stand trial here according to the Indian law."

In no way would this would be acceptable to Kerala, he said.

Two Italian marines being tried for murder in India will not return to the country as New Delhi does not have jurisdiction over the case, the Italian foreign ministry announced on Monday.

"Italy has always argued that Indian authorities have violated their obligations under international law...especially the principle of immunity from trial by the organs of a foreign state and the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The decision not to send Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who had been allowed to come home to vote and meet their families, back to India was taken by Italy's defence and justice ministries in consultation with the prime minister's office, it said.

The Supreme Court had ruled that the case need not be tried in Kerala, instead a special court be set up in Delhi.

The two marines have been at the centre of a year-long international row for allegedly shooting dead two Indian fishermen Ajesh Binki and Gelastine after mistaking them for pirates near the Kerala coast in February 2012.

Italy claims the incident occurred in international waters and has been trying to get Latorre and Girone tried in Italian courts, while India contends the shooting occurred in its own territory.

The two marines have been at the centre of a year-long international row for allegedly shooting dead two Indian fishermen after mistaking them for pirates near Kerala in February 2012.

Italy claims the incident occurred in international waters and has been trying to get Latorre and Girone tried in Italian courts, while India contends the shooting occurred in its own territory.

Supreme Court last month allowed Latorre and Girone to return to Italy to vote in the Feb 24-25 national election. It had earlier allowed them to go home for Christmas.

IANS

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