India's Prime Minister demands Italy return marines for trial
NEW DELHI (AP) - India's Prime Minister demanded on Wednesday that Italy return two marines accused of killing two fishermen last year - or "there will be consequences".
The Indian government allowed the marines to return home last month to vote in Italy's national elections and to celebrate Easter with a promise from the Italian ambassador that they would return to stand trial. Italy announced on Monday it would not send them back.
The marines, Massimilian Latorre and Salvatore Girone, were part of a military security team aboard a cargo ship when they opened fire on a fishing boat in February last year that they said they mistook for a pirate craft, killing the two fishermen. Italy maintains the shooting occurred in international waters and that Rome should have jurisdiction. India said the ship was in Indian territorial waters.
The dispute, along with allegations of bribes and kickbacks in a US$750 million (S$934 million) helicopter deal, has badly damaged relations between the two nations. Angry politicians have attacked the government for allowing the two Italians to leave the country in the first place, and they demand retaliation.