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India Supreme Court puts off Italy marines jurisdiction case

Examination to commence August 8

India Supreme Court puts off Italy marines jurisdiction case

(ANSA) - New Delhi, July 19 - The Indian Supreme Court on Thursday postponed by three weeks the start of an examination into the jurisdiction of trying two Italian anti-pirate marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen by mistake in February. The hearing is scheduled to commence August 8 once the local and national government have presented reports on the legality of trying the marines in India, as the shooting took place aboard an Italian vessel in international waters. Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone have been at the centre of a diplomatic row between Italy and India since being detained in February after an incident that took place while they were guarding the Enrica Lexie tanker. Indian police have filed charges that included homicide. The marines are accused of killing fishermen Jelestine Valentine and Ajesh Binki after mistaking them for pirates. Latorre and Girone were granted bail last month ahead of an regional court hearing July 25. On Thursday their defence team requested to suspend the murder trial in a regional court in southern India as it waits for the supreme court's decision on jurisdiction. Italy claims that it should have jurisdiction, not India, as the incident took place aboard an Italian vessel in international waters. The Italian government also 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.

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