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India and Italy row over marines who 'shot fishermen'

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India and Italy row over marines who 'shot fishermen'


An Indian court has postponed a decision concerning the fate of two Italian marines who are accused of killing two fishermen, supposedly after mistaking them for Somali pirates.

It has caused a diplomatic row. India says they should be tried in India; Italy wants them sent home for trial.

The High Court in Kerala state says it will announce on Tuesday when it will decide which country’s legal system should prevail. Meanwhile the marines have been remanded in custody for another 14 days.

The Italian junior foreign minister has described India’s refusal to hand the men over as “inappropriate”.

Italy argues the shooting happened in international waters and therefore its own legal system should be competent.

India says it happened in its waters. Its foreign minister however is trying to play down the row, saying it should not undermine relations between the two countries.

The marines were trying to protect the merchant vessel the ‘Enrica Lexie’ off the Indian coast in mid-February when they allegedly shot the fishermen.

They were jailed in Kerala’s state capital in early March, although the Italian government managed to negotiate special conditions for them as military personnel.

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