INDIA: ITALIAN MARINES WON'T GET DEATH SENTENCE
|Massimiliano Latorre e Salvatore Girone
March 22, 2013: Indian External affairs minister Salman Khurshid laid a statement on Italian marines in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
He said that Italian marines will not be awared death sentence as their case is not rarest of rare.
Khurshid also informed Lok Sabha that two Italian marines are on their way to India.
India gave the assurances after Italy sought clarification regarding conditions applicable to the marines on their return, he said.
India also assured Italy that marines will not be liable for death penalty as the case does not fall in rarest of rare category, Khurshid informed the Houses.
India has told Italy that the marines will not be arrested if they return within the time frame laid down by Supreme Court, said Khurshid.
Earlier in the day, Khurshid said that diplomacy is at work resulting in Italy's decision to send back two marines charged in the fishermen killing case and parried questions on Italian media reports that Congress president Sonia Gandhi influenced that government's decision.
Welcoming Italy's decision to send back two marines, the minister said the decision has to be conveyed to the Supreme Court through proper procedure and he would apprise Parliament about it.
"I would like as I have said to share whatever developments have happened with Parliament but I can certainly say we have been in constant contact. I have repeatedly said that you should not write off diplomacy to soon... So at last I can say that diplomacy continues to work when everybody else thinks that everything is lost and please give diplomacy a little more chance to do things that are important for our country," he said.
Khurshid also said that "Law remains as it is. Nothing changes as far as the law is concerned and my understanding can't change the law".
Italy on Thursday night (March 21) said it will send back to India two marines to face trial for killing two fishermen after receiving an assurance from the Indian government about the protection of their fundamental rights. (Sources: hindustantimes.com, 22/03/2013)