ROME, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Italy's Foreign Ministry said on Monday that the two Italian marines who were facing murder charges in India for allegedly killing two local fishermen will remain in Italy where they came back last month to vote in the national elections.
"Italy has informed the Indian government that, given the formal establishment of an international dispute between the two states, the marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone will not return to India at the end of the permission granted to them," a statement from the foreign ministry said.
"Italy has always believed that the conduct of the Indian government violated the international law," the ministry said. Considering India's lack of response to the Italian request to cooperate, the Italian government believed there was a dispute with India, it said, adding that it was "open" to letting an international arbitrator assess the case.
Last month, the two marines were allowed by the supreme court of India to return to Italy for four weeks to exercise their right to vote in the general elections, after pledging to go back to India. They were also allowed back for the Christmas holidays and returned to India once their leave expired.
Latorre and Girone were arrested on Feb. 19 last year for shooting dead two Indian fishermen from the merchant vessel Enrica Lexie off India's southern coast, mistaking them as pirates.
The incident has caused diplomatic row between Italy and India, which have traditionally had good relations.
Italy claimed that they should be tried in a court in Rome as the incident happened in international waters while India said that the accused must be tried in this country as the shooting took place in its waters.
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