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Disappointed over Indian Supreme Court decision to deny marine's plea: EU

Disappointed over Indian Supreme Court decision to deny marines plea: EU

Brussels: The EU has voiced disappointment over the Indian Supreme Court's decision to deny the plea of murder accused Italian marine Massimiliano Latorre seeking extension of his stay in Italy on health grounds and his fellow marine's permission to travel there for Christmas.

"The decision to deny the plea of Massimiliano Latorre for an extension of his stay in Italy for medical treatment and to refuse Salvatore Girone permission to spend the

Christmas period at home is disappointing, as a long awaited mutually agreed solution has not yet proved possible", a statement issued yesterday by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini said.

"The situation of these two European military personnel has been pending for almost three years now. The EU has consistently called for a mutually agreeable solution, in the interest of both Italy and India, based on international law," the statement said.

"The issue has the potential to impact the overall European Union-India relations and has also a bearing on the global fight against piracy, to which the EU is strongly committed", the statement by the newly elected EU official said.

The EU will continue to follow closely the issue, is in touch with the Italian government and reiterates its call for a swift solution, the statement said.

The Supreme Court yesterday refused the pleas of murder accused Italian marine Latorre seeking extension of his stay in Italy on health grounds and his fellow marine Salvatore Girone's permission to travel for Christmas, saying they cannot get such a "leeway".

The case against marines pertains to the killing of two Indian fishermen allegedly by Latorre and Girone on board ship 'Enrica Lexie' off Kerala coast on February 15, 2012.

Earlier on September 12, the apex court had allowed Lattore to travel to Italy for medical treatment after the government had said that "in principle" it has no objection to the plea.

Latorre had sought permission from the court to go to Italy for his "more rapid and complete recovery" after he had suffered brain stroke on August 31.

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