Expressing concern over the delay in the trial of its marines charged with murder, Italy on Wednesday ruled out sending four seamen as witnesses in the case and sought other legal options to take forward the investigation.

Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Stefan De Mistura met Union Minister for External Affairs Salman Khurshid here to convey concern over the delay in the trial.

During the meeting, Mr. Khurshid expressed the willingness of his ministry to facilitate “interactions between the teams of the two countries to better understand their respective positions in the case, the spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said.

However, official sources ruled out any settlement in the matter.

While refusing to send four other marines, who were witness to the killing of fishermen off the Kerala coast allegedly by two of their colleagues, the Italian Minister asked for other options.

The other options include appearance through video conferencing, a visit by a team of NIA to Italy for questioning them or the investigators can send them written questions to which they would reply. — PTI