Special court in Delhi to hear Italian marines' case

Special court in Delhi to hear Italian marines' case
New Delhi The two Italian marines who are charged with murder will be tried by a special court in Delhi . 

A formal notification will be issued by the central government for a Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court to handle the case with daily hearings.  Italy has been urging India to conduct the trial quickly. If convicted, the marines can serve their sentence at home as part of a recent agreement between India and Italy.

The marines are accused with shooting two fishermen from Kerala at sea in February last year. On Friday, they flew back to India after a dramatic turnaround by Italy, which had triggered a massive diplomatic crisis by announcing on March 16 that they would not return.

The marines - Salvatore Girone and Massimilano Latorre,-  had been allowed to travel home for four weeks by the Supreme Court to vote in the national election. The Italian envoy to Delhi, Daniele Mancini, had given a written assurance in court that they would return to stand trial.  When Rome said it was reneging on its commitment, the Supreme Court banned Mr Mancini from leaving India, a violation of diplomatic immunity according to the European  Union.

In January, the Supreme Court had transferred their trial out of Kerala and said that a special court should be appointed to hear their case.

The naval officers were guarding an Italian tanker when they say they mistook the fishermen for pirates and opened fire.  Italy says the shooting took place in international waters and India has no jurisdiction.  New Delhi disagrees.

Story First Published: March 25, 2013 10:43 IST

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