New Delhi, September 8: The Italian marine Massimiliano Latorre has sought to extend his stay in Italy until the arbitration of his case gets over . The Supreme Court of India has responded by agreeing to hear the case on the 20th of September. The marine will be allowed to stay in Italy until the end of September as of now. Denying reports that Rome has asked India to let the two Marines, accused of killing two Indian fishermen in 2012, to stay back in Italy to “boost bilateral ties”, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Vikas Swarup on Wednesday clarified that no assurances between two countries took place and added that the marines would remain under the jurisdiction of Supreme Court of India.
In a very surprising turn of events, Minister for External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj got an opportunity to meet her Italian counterpart after the canonization ceremony of Mother Teresa. This was an interesting development as the relations between the two countries has been at an all-time low ever since the case of the Italian marines came to the fore. Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Vikas Swarup yesterday, explicitly stated that the marines were to stay under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India. (ALSO READ: Italy earthquake kills 159, injures 369, as rescuers race to find survivors)
Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone were two marines who were on duty as security guards aboard Italian commercial oil tanker MV Enrica Lexie. Both the marines were arrested by the Indian authorities in February 2012 after they shot dead the fishermen off the coast of Kerala. The marines claimed that they thought the fishermen were pirates.
Lattore is presently in Italy on medical grounds after he suffered heart stroke in 2014 and Girone, was allowed to return on ‘humanitarian grounds’ in May this year.The case is presently pending in the Permanent court of Arbitration in The Hague to adjudicate on whether India or Italy has the jurisdiction to extradite the accused marines.