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Italy seeks help from Vatican to solve crisis with India over fishermen's killing: report

(Xinhua)

14:38, February 22, 2012

NEW DELHI, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Italy is seeking help from the Roman Catholic Church to solve the crisis over the killing of two Indian fishermen by two Italian guards on board an oil tanker last week, local daily The Hindu reported Wednesday.

The Italian government is working in back channels via the Vatican to allow the two marines, arrested by Indian police this week, to leave for Rome after paying some compensation to the families of the killed fishermen, according to the report. "But India is firm. Their case will be investigated here. And then, unless the courts decide otherwise, they should be tried here," the report quoted highly placed sources as saying.

The Italian Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister will meet his Indian counterpart Perneet Kaur on Wednesday and Foreign Minister Giulisio Terzi will arrive next week on a prescheduled visit to convince New Delhi that any of their nationals involved in criminal activity anywhere are subject to Italian law, said the report.

However, Indian officials insist any crime committed against an Indian or on an Indian vessel"wherever it may be'' can be tried in India.

The two fishermen, Valentine Jalastine and Ajeesh Binki, were shot dead allegedly by marines on the ship Enrica Lexie last Wednesday off the Indian coast of Kerala.

Two Italian marines, Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Gironi, on Monday were sent to police custody for three days by a local judge.

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