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Italy opts for arbitration with India on marines issue

Italy opts for arbitration with India on marines issue

Rome: Italy on Friday said it had decided to seek international arbitration within the framework of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) with India over a case relating to two Italian marines who are accused of shooting two Indian fishermen in 2012, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

The two marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, are accused of killing two Indian fishermen off India's southwestern coast while assigned to anti-piracy duty aboard an Italian cargo ship.

Italy, however, maintains that the shooting occurred in international waters, that the fishermen were mistaken for pirates and that the case should be heard in an Italian court.

The decision to go in for arbitration, which the Italian parliament had called for, was taken at the conclusion of the necessary negotiating phase made directly with India and after "facing the impossibility of reaching a solution to the dispute", the report said.

Meanwhile, Italian officials said there would be an all-out effort "to assert with the utmost determination the reasons underlying the known position on the Italian jurisdiction and immunity in the case".

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