Rome

India delays Italian marines' verdict by three months

Italian govt says it will push for their release 'with vigour'

India delays Italian marines' verdict by three months

Rome, December 14 û India said it will take at least another three months for its Supreme Court to rule on the fate of two Italian anti-pirate marines being tried in the nation for allegedly killing two local fishermen, according to a statement released on Friday by Premier Minister Mario MontiÆs offices. The Italian government will continue with unchanged vigour in seeking to ensure its arguments prevail in order to bring back the two military personnel to Italy as soon as possible, the statement said. Marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone have been at the centre of a diplomatic row between Italy and India since being detained in February for charges that includes homicide. Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi earlier in the day said the government was putting its full effort into resolving the crisis involving two Italian anti-pirate marines being tried in India for allegedly killing two local fishermen, according to a comment posted on the government official's Twitter account on Friday. Italy on Thursday officially requested India's Supreme Court issue its verdict on the case before the Christmas festivities. The request was made through the local Indian ambassador, who was called to meet with Secretary General Michele Valensise at the request of Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi. Terzi met with the marines' relatives on Friday, together with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano. Terzi said there was "great warmth and solidarity from the head of state" to the family, according to his Twitter post. Italy petitioned that it should have jurisdiction over the case because the incident took place on an Italian ship. The Italian government 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. They were granted bail in June, but must remain in Indian territory.

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