India Disagrees to UN Court ‘Orders’ of Italian Marine’s Release

A UN arbitration tribunal has ruled in favour of an Italian marine, held in India on murder charges, by allowing him to return home pending the arbitration proceedings at the Hague. Two Italian marines — Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone — are facing charges of murdering two fishermen in 2012 off the Kerala coast. Latorre is back in Italy after a stroke in 2014 while Girone is staying in Italian embassy in New Delhi. The two countries have agreed to arbitration by the UN Court. Reports from Rome said the UN tribunal court has ruled that pending arbitration proceedings, Girone may be permitted to return home. In a statement, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in New Delhi that the Arbitral Tribunal unanimously prescribed that India and Italy would approach theSupreme Court of India for relaxation of bail conditions of Girone. He said the tribunal left it to the Supreme Court to fix the precise conditions of Girone’s bail and noted that while the marine may return to Italy during the present arbitration, he would remain under the authority of India’s apex court. The tribunal’s order is expected to be made public tomorrow. Sources in New Delhi denied reports that marine has been ordered to be freed, saying Italy was “misrepresenting” the order which actually affirms the Indian Supreme Court’s authority over the matter. “While remaining under the authority of the Supreme Court of India, he may return to Italy for the duration of the present arbitration. The Tribunal confirmed Italy’s obligation to return him to India in case it was found that India had jurisdiction over him in respect of the incident. “The Tribunal left it to the Supreme Court of India to fix the precise conditions of Sergeant Girone’s bail. This could include him reporting to an authority in Italy designated by our Supreme Court, surrendering his passport to Italian authorities and not leaving Italy without the permission of our Supreme Court,” Swarup said. He said Italy will have to apprise the Supreme Court of his situation every three months.

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