ROME Feb 10 Italy said on Monday that India's
relations with Rome and with the European Union could suffer if
two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen are tried
under an anti-piracy and anti-terrorism act.
Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, part of a
military security team protecting a cargo ship off the Indian
coast, say they thought the fishermen were pirates and fired
shots to warn them off in February 2012.
In a case that has become politically sensitive in both
countries, they deny killing anyone or aiming directly at the
India's attorney general said on Friday the two would be
tried for the deaths of the fishermen under anti-piracy and
anti-terrorism laws but that the death penalty would not be
"Italy is not a terrorist country," a statement from Prime
Minister Enrico Letta's office said.
The Indian supreme court is due to decide later this month
to validate or reject the attorney general's request.
"This is a decision that would harm Italy's dignity as a
sovereign state," a government statement added.
"...It would bring about negative consequences in relations
with Italy and the European Union, with equally negative
repercussions on the global fight against piracy."
Charges have yet to be filed against the two marines, partly
due to confusion as to which law should be used to prosecute the
men, who are on bail but cannot leave India.
(Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by John Stonestreet)