Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino has vowed to legally challenge in the “strongest terms” India’s move to try two Italian marines, accused of killing two Indian fishermen, under an anti-piracy Act. Ms. Bonino said the decision left her “dumbfounded and outraged.”
“Certain indications that come from New Delhi about the legal proceedings against our marines leave me dumbfounded and outraged,” Bonino said. “Our commitment to bring home Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone is stronger than ever,” she was quoted as saying in the Italian media.
Her remarks came in the backdrop of the Home Ministry giving sanction to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to prosecute the Italian marines under the new provision of the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act (SUA).
The SUA carries the death sentence. But India last week spared them from the possibility of getting death penalty by asking the NIA to dilute the charges against them from murder to violence.
The Marines, who were on-board Italian vessel ‘Enrica Lexie’, allegedly shot dead the two fishermen on Feb. 15, 2012 off Kerala coast.