New Delhi

Indian supreme court to rule on marines 'in 20 days'

Italy claims jurisdiction in double slaying

Indian supreme court to rule on marines 'in 20 days'

(ANSA) - New Delhi, September 6 - The Indian supreme court will rule in 20 days on whether Italy should be granted jurisdiction over the case against two Italian anti-pirate marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen in February, an Indian lawyer told ANSA Thursday. The court will receive two statements from the Indian central government and the state of Kerala on Italy's claim Monday, said Diljeet Titus. There will be a ruling "within the next 20 days from now," he said. India and Italy agreed in mid-August that the two marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, acted in "contiguous" and not international waters. The Italian government has in the past stated it believes that, regardless of who has jurisdiction, the marines should be exempt from prosecution in India as they were military personnel working on an anti-piracy mission. Defence lawyer Harish Salve said the two were on board the Enrica Lexie vessel as a result of an Italian government decision taken on the basis of a UN resolution governing the protection of ships navigating pirate-infested waters. Latorre and Girone have been at the centre of a diplomatic row between Italy and India since being detained in February. Indian police have filed charges against the two that include the homicide of fishermen Jelestine Valentine and Ajesh Binki. They were granted bail in June, but must remain in Indian territory. The next hearing is to be held on September 12.

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