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EU favours international arbitration in Italian marines' case

IANS  |  Geneva 

The European (EU) Thursday said the row between and over the prosecution of two Italian marines accused of killing Indian fishermen in 2012 should be settled under "Italian jurisdiction or through international arbitration".

The members of the EU also called for the marines to be repatriated, as their detention without charge was a "serious breach of human rights", according to a EU press release.

In a joint resolution, the members expressed great sadness at the death of the two Indian fishermen, but expressed concern about the detention without charge of the Italian marines.

"We have to ensure that the principles of international law are complied with and I think that the fate of the two marines will be linked to the credibility of our anti-piracy efforts," said EU Foreign Affairs High Representative Federica Mogherini Wednesday.

The EU Parliament said that restrictions on the marines' freedom of movement represented "a serious breach of their human rights" as the members demanded for their repatriation. They also backed Italy's position on the 2012 incident and hoped that "jurisdiction will fall to the Italian authorities and/or international arbitration".

In February 2012, the two Italian marines, on board an Italian commercial vessel as part of an international counter-piracy mission, shot and killed two Indian fishermen, mistaking them for pirates.

said the incident took place in international waters and that the marines should therefore be tried in or in an international court. But according to India, the incident occurred in coastal waters under Indian jurisdiction. So far, no charge has been brought by the Indian authorities.

The EU Parliament members asked Mogherini to take all necessary steps to protect the two Italian marines and expresed their support for all efforts for a mutually acceptable solution.

First Published: Thu, January 15 2015. 20:22 IST