Marines back, India assured no death penalty: Italian minister

New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) Two Italian marines on bail were back in India after India assured Italy that the death penalty would not apply in their case, Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Staffan de Mistura said here Friday.

“The solution was triggered off by an official letter from the Indian authorities Thursday afternoon guaranteeing there will be no death penalty in this case,” Mistura told reporters at a news conference after meeting External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.
“The death penalty is a serious issue for us. The government should set up a special court and expedite proceedings,” he said.
“The marines are at our embassy,” he said.
According to Mistura, the two Italian marines were in international waters when the firing incident – in which two Indian fishermen were killed – took place and were liable to be judged in their own country.
“A potential diplomatic crisis has been avoided,” he said.