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Italy Considers International Arbitration over Indian Fishermen Deaths

Friday, April, 25, 2014


Italy is considering requesting an international arbitration to settle an ongoing dispute between it and the country of India.  Two Indian citizens were killed just off the Kerala coast in February 2012 by two Italian Marines.  India has threatened to charge the marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, with murder, but Italy has stated that it does not believe the Indian courts have any jurisdiction in the matter and have refused to extradite the marines.


The marines were crewing on the oil tanker MT Enrica Lexie, which sails under an Italian flag, contend they mistook the fishermen for pirates and opened fire believing the ship was under attack.  They are currently being held in the Italian Embassy in New Delhi.


Italy has agreed that the marines should be tried in court, but insists the court must be held in Italy, as the incident occurred in international waters.  India asserts that since the victims were Indian citizens on a boat registered to India, they have the right to try the accused marines.  Italy’s request for international arbitration comes from Defense Minister Federica Mogherini, who has stated Italy remains willing to talk to India but that so far bilateral negotiations over the matter have “failed.”