Closing Of Marines Case Outcome Of Big Diplomatic Effort, Says Italy Minister

Supreme Court brought the curtain down on the criminal proceedings against the Italian marines after Italy paid compensation to families of the dead

Closing Of Marines Case Outcome Of Big Diplomatic Effort, Says Italy Minister

The Italian Marines fired at the fishermen allegedly under the misconception that they were pirates. File

London, Rome:

Italy today said the end of the judicial proceedings in India against two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast in 2012 was the result of a big diplomatic effort.

The Supreme Court today brought the curtain down on the nine-year old criminal proceedings against two Italian marines -- Massimilano Latorre and Salvatore Girone -- accused of killing of two fishermen in February 2012, after Rs 10 crore in compensation was paid by Italy to the families of the dead fishermen and the boat owner.

The court also said that as per the international arbitral award accepted by India, Italy shall resume further investigation in the case against the two marines who opened fire on the Indian fishermen allegedly under the misconception that they were pirates.

Reacting to the decision of the Supreme Court, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said the outcome was the result of a big diplomatic effort.

"All judicial proceedings in India against our marines, Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre, have been closed," he tweeted.

"Thanks to those who worked with perseverance on the case, thanks to our tireless diplomatic corps, the final word has been said on this long affair," Italian news agency ANSA quoted the minister as saying.

In February 2012, India had accused the two marines on board the MV Enrica Lexie -- an Italian flagged oil tanker -- of killing two Indian fishermen who were on a fishing vessel in India's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague had ruled last year that India was entitled to get compensation in the case but cannot prosecute the two marines due to official immunity enjoyed by them.

Mr Latorre, who had suffered a brain stroke on August 31, 2014, was first granted bail and allowed by the Supreme Court on September 12, 2014 to go to Italy for four months and after that, extensions have been granted to him.

In Italy, Mr Latorre underwent a heart surgery after which the Supreme Court granted him extension of his stay in the country. Mr Girone returned to Italy in 2016.

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