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Marine standoff: Italy version misleading, cries India

Marine standoff: Italy version misleading, cries India
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Marine Standoff: Italy Version Misleading, Cries India. The government has sought rejection of Italy-'s plea to an international tribunal for handing...

Hamburg, Germany: The government has sought rejection of Italy's plea to an international tribunal for handing over of two of its marines, accused of killing two Indian fishermen off Kerala's coast, saying India has full jurisdiction in the case and Italy's contentions in this regard were "misleading".

In its submission before the International Tribunal on Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg, India said that the Italian government's version was short, straightforward and misleading, as the incident took place in India's Exclusive Economic Zone, where India has full jurisdiction, said sources.

According to officials, India's representative at the hearing yesterday, submitted that, "Marines used automatic weapons without warning and shot in head and stomach of the two fishermen...This case is not covered by Article 97 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea but rather a double murder at sea."

Italian marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who were on board ship "Enrica Lexie", are accused of killing two Indian fishermen on February 15 in 2012.

Challenging Italy's contention that Sergeant Girone has been kept in India as a "hostage", India said such description is highly inappropriate and offensive and belies the fact that both marines were twice allowed to travel to Italy at the same time.

"Most importantly well-being and humanitarian considerations in favour of persons accused of a serious crime have to be balanced with that of the victims of the crime. It is surprising that Italy is insensitive to the interests and plight of victims of crime and is adopting a discriminatory attitude," India said in its submission.

India has also said that the Italian accounts have overlooked the crucial fact that the delays that Italy is complaining of, are due to its own delaying tactics as it was trying to pass the blame, say sources.

"India requests the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to reject the submissions made by Italy in its request for prescription of provisional measures and to refuse prescription of any provisional measure in the present case," said the submission.

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