News / Asia

    Italian Marines Charged With Murder Return to India

    Salvatore Girone (R) and Massimiliano Latorre leave the police commissioner office in the southern Indian city of Kochi, January 18, 2013. Salvatore Girone (R) and Massimiliano Latorre leave the police commissioner office in the southern Indian city of Kochi, January 18, 2013.
    x
    Salvatore Girone (R) and Massimiliano Latorre leave the police commissioner office in the southern Indian city of Kochi, January 18, 2013.
    Salvatore Girone (R) and Massimiliano Latorre leave the police commissioner office in the southern Indian city of Kochi, January 18, 2013.
    Aru Pande
    Two Italian marines have returned to India to face charges they murdered two Indian fishermen that they had mistaken for pirates.

    The marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, arrived at a New Delhi airport Friday, after Italy reversed its decision not to send them back.

    Officials say Italy's government backed down on Thursday after securing a promise from New Delhi the two men would not face the death penalty.

    Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh praised Italy's decision, saying it is consistent with the "dignity of the Indian judicial process."

    India’s Supreme Court in January allowed the Italian Marines, Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre, to go home for four weeks in order to vote in their country’s elections.

    Then, last week, Italy said the marines would not return to India. In response, the South Asian country barred Italy’s ambassador from leaving India - a move criticized by Italy and the European Union as a violation of international diplomatic immunity laws.

    Late Thursday, the Italian government agreed to send the marines back to India after receiving assurances on their treatment and protection of their fundamental rights.

    Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid welcomed the decision.

    "We have a valuable relationship with Italy. And that certain incident and the doubts that were created did not derail our relationship," said Khurshid. "[The fact that] things are back on track and normal is a matter of satisfaction."

    Foreign Minister Khurshid told India’s parliament Friday that the Italian government had been informed that the death penalty would not be applicable in the case.

    The Italian marines were guarding an Italian vessel in February of 2012 when they allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen after mistaking them for pirates in waters off the southern Indian state of Kerala.

    Italy maintains the incident took place in international waters and wanted the trial to take place in the marines’ native country. India says the fishermen were killed in waters under its jurisdiction.

    Members of India’s ruling Congress Party, which is led by the Italian-born Sonia Gandhi, on Friday said the marines’ return is an example of successful diplomacy.

    Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram hit back at opposition members who had criticized the government as unable to stand up to Italy.

    "Ultimately it’s the government’s diplomacy that has succeeded, isn’t it? People know that it is the government which takes diplomatic efforts," said Chidambaram.

    The Italian marines are now due to return to India Friday to face murder charges in an Indian court - charges they deny. The men will remain at the Italian Embassy in New Delhi.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora