This Article is From May 02, 2016

What Italy May Have To Promise India For Arrested Marine To Return Home

What Italy May Have To Promise India For Arrested Marine To Return Home

UN arbitration court has ruled that India should release an Italian marine who was detained in 2012.


  • Italy should ask Indian top court to release detained marine: UN court
  • Italy making it seem like court ordered release of marine: Govt sources
  • Marines shot 2 Indian fishermen in 2012, one of them still in detention
New Delhi: So bitter is the dispute between Italy and India over the arrest of two marines in Delhi that the countries were unable to agree today on what exactly a UN court has ordered.

Italy claims that the court in the Hague has said Delhi must release Salvatore Girone at the earliest. Sources in the Indian government said that Italy is misrepresenting the court order, which has said that the Indian Supreme Court must decide the issue of bail for Girone, who has been detained in Delhi for more than four years.

Sources at the Hague said that the court order's details will emerge clearly only tomorrow. But broadly, the court has reportedly ordered that Italy shall have to ensure that once home, Girone reports at regular intervals to an Italian authority chosen by the Supreme Court and is unable to leave Italy without the Supreme Court's consent.

In 2012, India arrested two Italian marines after a pair of fishermen were shot dead off the coast of Kerala. Italy says the marines, who were escorting an oil tanker, mistook the fishermen for pirates.

One of the pair returned to Italy with health problems, but India has refused to allow Girone to leave the country.  He is living at Italy's embassy in Delhi. Sources in Delhi said that if bail were to be granted, the government would push for it be conditional upon Italy pledging to return Girone to India if needed for the trial.  

The case has soured relations between India and Italy, but the two countries agreed last year to move the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague and abide by its decisions.

Last month, the Supreme Court extended the home leave till September of the other marine, Massimiliano Latorre.  He was allowed to travel back to Italy in 2014 for medical treatment after he suffered a stroke.

The detention of the marines, the murder charges and the long wait for the case to be resolved are sore subjects in Italy whose government insists the oil tanker, the MV Enrica Lexie, was in international waters at the time of the incident.

India argues that the case is not a maritime dispute but "a double murder at sea", in which one fisherman was shot in the head and the other in the stomach.