Indian court pauses Italian marines’ trial after UN tribunal order

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India’s Supreme Court Wednesday adjourned all legal proceedings linked to the case of two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen till January 13, 2016, their lawyer said.

The adjournment came after both sides told the court they would have to abide by an UN tribunal’s request that legal proceedings be suspended until its own verdict, lawyer Sohail Dutt said.

Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone allegedly shot the two Indian fishermen while serving on anti-piracy duty on an Italian oil tanker passing through the Indian Ocean in February 2012.

Their vessel then docked at an Indian port and the marines were arrested. The case has since ping-ponged between different Indian courts, and charges have yet to be formally pressed.

Italy approached the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in June, challenging India’s jurisdiction in the case, saying attempts to arrive at an amicable resolution had failed.

Rome says the incident took place in international waters and India has no jurisdiction in the case, while India says it took place within its jurisdiction and the men should be tried in India.

Latorre is currently in Italy, on special medical leave after suffering a stroke in 2014, while Girone is on bail and lives on the premises of the Italian embassy in New Delhi.

The tribunal on Monday requested both countries to suspend any ongoing legal proceedings, not to start any new ones, and to submit respective reports on the incident by September 24.

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