Italy calls for rul­ing over de­tained marine

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

Italy has asked an in­ter­na­tional ar­bi­tra­tion panel to or­der In­dia to free a marine who has been de­tained since 2012 be­cause of his al­leged in­volve­ment in the shoot­ing deaths of two fish­er­men dur­ing an anti-piracy op­er­a­tion. Italy’s am­bas­sador to the Nether­lands, Francesco Az­zarello, told the Per­ma­nent Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion that Sgt Sal­va­tore Girone should be al­lowed to re­turn home im­me­di­ately, say­ing “he is obliged to live thou­sands of kilo­me­tres away from his coun­try and fam­ily, with two chil­dren still at a ten­der age.” Girone and Mas­si­m­il­iano Latorre were as­signed to anti-piracy duty to pro­tect an Ital­ian oil tanker, the En­rica Lexie, off In­dia’s coast at the time of the shoot­ing. The men were de­tained and had to stay in In­dia with­out for­mal charges. Latorre has since been al­lowed home af­ter suf­fer­ing a stroke, but Girone re­mains in In­dia, free on bail but obliged to re­main in Delhi and re­port reg­u­larly to In­dian police, Az­zarello told the ar­bi­tra­tion panel. Italy ar­gues the shoot­ing oc­curred in in­ter­na­tional wa­ters, that the fish­er­men were mis­taken for pi­rates, and that the case should be heard in an Ital­ian court. New Delhi in­sists it has ju­ris­dic­tion and wants to charge both marines with mur­der. The UN-man­dated In­ter­na­tional Tri­bunal for the Law of the Sea, based in Ham­burg, Ger­many, last year or­dered In­dia to put on hold le­gal pro­ceed­ings against the two marines un­til the Hague-based ar­bi­tra­tion panel has ruled in the dis­pute. Az­zarello said that if Sgt Girone is al­lowed to re­turn home, Italy would abide by any or­der is­sued by the ar­bi­tra­tion panel that he be re­turned to In­dia. He ar­gued that the marine is ef­fec­tively be­ing used as col­lat­eral in the dis­pute. “A hu­man be­ing can­not be used as a guar­an­tee for the con­duct of a state,” he said.

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