NEW DELHI – India's Supreme Court ruled Thursday that two Italian marines accused of killing a pair of fishermen off the coast of India last year will be tried in a special court to be set up by the Indian government.
Italy had argued that the shootings took place in international waters and the case should be handled in Italy. New Delhi said the killings happened on an Indian boat within India's territorial waters.
The court ruled that the trial should take place in India in a special court to be set up by the central government in consultation with the chief justice, according to the Press Trust of India. The order removed the case from the jurisdiction of the southern state of Kerala, near where the shooting happened last February.
Italian Consul-General Giampaolo Cutillo said his government was satisfied with at least that small victory.
"The Supreme Court confirmed that Kerala has no jurisdiction in this case, which is basically what we maintained from the very first day," he said.
Marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone were part of a military security team aboard a cargo ship when they opened fire on a fishing boat they said they mistook for a pirate craft and killed two Indian fishermen. The marines have been held since then in a juvenile reformatory in Kerala.
The fatal shooting has been emotionally charged for both India and Italy.