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1.1 million euros end a diplomatic crisis between Italy and India


Italy is paying India 100 million rupees (about 1.1 million euros) in compensation for the killing of two Indian fishermen by Italian sailors, to close a judicial process that has spoiled bilateral relations for nine years, the Italian news agency AKI said.


On 15 February 2012, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvator Gironi, members of the San Marco Regiment of the Italian Military Navy, were on board the Italian tanker Enrica Lixi in the Indian Ocean, and his mission was to protect the ship from possible attacks by pirates, frequent in this area.


About 20 nautical miles from the Indian state of Kerala, they noticed a ship approaching the tanker, it was just a fishing boat, but the Italian sailors thought it was a pirate ship and opened fire, killing two local fishermen.


Members of the Italian Military Navy's San Marco Regiment, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Gironi, were arrested in February 2012 by Indian police for murder. Gironi and Latori were arrested by Indian police and they were soon transferred to a prison in Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala state. Since then, a nine-year legal and diplomatic battle has begun between India and Italy.


Italy has challenged the charges against its army, insisting that India had no jurisdiction to prosecute them. Soon, the two countries reached an agreement that Italy would compensate the families of the murdered fishermen for a total of 280,000 euros. However, the Indian Supreme Court declared it illegal.


"All judicial proceedings in India against Gironi and Latorre have been closed, thanks to those who have worked consistently on the case, as well as thanks to the tireless effort of members of the diplomatic corps," said Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio.


The head of Italian diplomacy concluded that "a point has been made once and for all on this long issue."

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