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UN Tribunal asks Italy, India to stop court proceedings on Italian marines

UN Tribunal asks Italy, India to stop court proceedings on Italian marines

Hamburg /New Delhi: The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea on Monday asked India and Italy to suspend all court proceedings in the marines case. It has also asked both countries to submit reports by September 24.

The Tribunal also asserted its jurisdiction in the case. It maintained that the Italy's action of filing appeal twice was wrong and unacceptable.

There were differences in the Tribunal regarding the case and it sought more time for a final judgement.

The Tribunal had examined which country has the power to try the two Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone who have been charged with shooting dead two Indian fishermen in February 2012 off Kerala coast.

India had claimed that it could finish the trial in four months. Italy sought the intervention of the Tribunal based on a UN clause meant for solving issues occurred on seas between countries. Italy's main argument is that the issue occurred in international waters at the time of the incident. Italy had also demanded that India "refrain from taking or enforcing any judicial or administrative measures" against the marines.

However, India rejected the request, arguing that the case is not a maritime dispute but "about a double murder at sea", in which one fisherman was shot in the head and the other in the stomach. India alleged that Italy did not even fulfil the basic legal procedures to be followed in the country.

Salvatore Girone and Massimilliano Latorre were part of an anti-piracy mission allegedly fired shots in 2012 that killed two Indian fishermen on a boat off the coast of Kerala.

India detained the two marines days later and a court case is pending.

Massimiliano was last year allowed to temporarily return to Italy for medical treatment and is still there. Salvatore has been living at Italy's embassy in New Delhi ever since.

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