New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) There was no deal with Italy on the return of two marines to stand trial in India for killing two Indian fishermen, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said Friday.
“I want to clarify that there was no deal with Italy… we clarified the nature of incident and it was not a case for death sentence,” Khurshid told journalists in an interaction at the Indian Women Press Corps.
“We have not given away anything and are happy that the whole issue has come to an end,” he added.
The external affairs ministry announced Friday that the Italian government has informed it the marines would return.
On March 11, Italy informed India the marines – whom the Supreme Court had allowed to go home Feb 22 on an undertaking by the Italian ambassador – would not be sent back, leading to a diplomatic stand-off. The ambassador was restrained by the apex court from leaving India for reneging on his word.
The marines, posted aboard oil tanker MV Enrica Lexie on security duty, had Feb 15, 2012, opened fire at a fishing boat off the coast of Kerala, suspecting it carried pirates. Two fishermen, Ajesh Binki and Gelastine, were killed in the firing.