In 2012 India arrested two Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, on suspicion they killed two fishermen off the Kerala coast, whom they had mistaken for pirates while they were escorting an oil tanker. The marines are facing charges of murder.
Now however a UN arbitration tribunal has ruled in favour of marine Girone, who is held in India and stays in the Italian embassy in Delhi, allowing him to return home pending the proceedings at the Hague.
Sources in Delhi denied reports that the marine had been ordered to be freed, and that Italy was misrepresenting the order that actually affirms the Indian Supreme Court’s authority over the matter.
Meanwhile an Italian news agency said Premier Matteo Renzi said he was sending a message of friendship and cooperation to the ‘great people of India’ and to PM Narendra Modi. Later sources in Delhi said the order does not free any Marine, it only recommends relaxation of bail conditions of Girone, be considered and decided upon by the Indian Supreme Court.
At the end of the day only after the Tribunal decides which country has jurisdiction, will the criminal trial commence. Pending this decision both Marines are currently on bail on orders of the Supreme Court, and will continue to remain under its jurisdiction till the verdict of the Arbitrate Tribunal.