Rome: Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino has said she was left "dumbfounded and outraged" by India's move to try two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fisherman under an anti-piracy act and vowed to challenge it legally in the "strongest terms".
"Certain indications that come from New Delhi about the legal proceedings against our marines leave me dumbfounded and outraged," Bonino said.
"Our commitment to bring home Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone is stronger than ever," she was quoted as saying in the Italian media yesterday.
Her remarks came in the bakcdrop of Home Ministry giving sanction to National Investigation Agency (NIA) to prosecute the Italian marines under the new provision of the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against safety of Maritime Navigation And Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act (SUA).
The SUA carries the death sentences. But India last week spared them from the possibility of getting death penalty by asking the NIA to dilute the charges against them from murder to violence.
"An eventual request for the SUA act to be invoked on the two marines, if it should be confirmed, will be challenged in court by the Italian defence in the strongest terms," Agenzia Giornalistica Italia news agency quoted Bonino as saying.