UN Tribunal order "setback" for Italy as no relief to marines: India

A UN Tribunal hearing the case related to the killing of two Kerala fishermen on Monday did not allow an accused Italian marine go home from Indian custody despite the European country's fervent plea for the relief to him, Home Ministry officials said.

UN Tribunal order "setback" for Italy as no relief to marines: India

New Delhi: A UN Tribunal hearing the case related to the killing of two Kerala fishermen on Monday did not allow an accused Italian marine go home from Indian custody despite the European country's fervent plea for the relief to him, Home Ministry officials said.

Italy has been stressing for a long time that marine Salvatore Girone, one of the two accused who is still in India, should be allowed to go back home till the case is finally disposed off and the criminal proceedings against them should be suspended.

"The Tribunal asked both India and Italy to suspend all court proceedings but kept mum on Italy's plea to allow him go back home. It is a clear setback for Italy. Marine Girone will stay back in India until jurisdiction of the case is decided," a senior Home Ministry official said.

The other accused marine Massimiliano Latorre is already in Italy and allowed to stay back home by the Supreme Court due to medical reasons.

Home Ministry officials said that the case will now be decided by the Annexe-7 Tribunal, the apex body of the International Tribunal on Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg in Germany.

The UN Tribunal's call for stay of the Italian marines case proceedings in the Supreme Court makes little difference as the hearing in the case has already been suspended, the official said.

The Tribunal today asked both India and Italy to "suspend" all court proceedings involving two Italian marines charged with the killing of two fishermen off Kerala coast in 2012 and also refrain from initiating new ones that might "aggravate or extend" the dispute.

The question of the status of the two marines relates to the issue of jurisdiction and cannot be decided by the Tribunal at the stage of provisional measures, it said.

The Tribunal said it was aware of the grief and suffering of the families of the two Indian fishermen who were killed and also the consequences that lengthy restrictions on liberty entail for the two marines and their families.