Sunday, May 31, 2015Sunday, May 31, 2015

India to spare Italy marines mandatory death penalty

Published on Feb 8, 2014 12:15 AM
Italian marines Latore Massimiliano (left) and Salvatore Girone (right) are escorted by Indian police outside a court in Kollam, India in May, 2012. --PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (AFP) - India on Friday announced it would not prosecute two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen under a maritime security law that carries a mandatory death penalty.

New Delhi's plans to try the men under the maritime security law had drawn strong protests from Rome which feared the move would result in violation of an earlier Indian government pledge not to seek execution of the two marines.

"The NIA (National Investigation Agency) will not be prosecuting the marines now," home ministry spokesman K.S. Dhatwalia told AFP. "The ministry had earlier given permission to the NIA to prosecute the marines. That decision has now been revised," Dhatwalia said.

India's next step in the prosecution of the marines was not immediately clear.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!