India drops anti-piracy charge against Italian marines

NEW DELHI, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Indian prosecutors Monday dropped anti-piracy charges against two Italian marines in the killing of two Indian fishermen.

But government prosecutors told India's top court that the National Investigation Agency should keep investigating the 2012 killings, NDTV reported.


The matter has been challenged by Italy and has created a diplomatic set-to between the two countries. Last week, Italy recalled its ambassador to India to register its protest.

Marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone said they mistook the fishermen for pirates while guarding a cargo ship in 2012 off the coast of Kerala.

Italian authorities have lobbied the European Union and the United Nations, arguing the two marines should be tried in their home country because the shootings occurred in international waters. Indian officials said the fishermen were killed in Indian territorial waters, Italian news agency ANSA said.

Latorre and Girone have been released on bail pending trial and are living and working at the Italian Embassy in India. Rome also has argued that the pace of the case is slow and littered with delays.

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