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Noose fear off marines

New Delhi, Feb. 7 (PTI): The Centre today asked the NIA to dilute the murder charges against the two Italian marines to “violence”, removing the possibility of the death penalty.

Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, accused of killing two Kerala fishermen almost two years ago, should be charged under a provision of a maritime law that mentions “violence” and prescribes a maximum jail term of 10 years, the home ministry has told the NIA.

Earlier, the marines had been charged under Section 3 (G) (i) of the law, the suppression of unlawful acts against safety of maritime navigation act, or SUA. Section 3 (G) (i) relates to “deaths” and says anyone causing it shall be given the capital punishment if guilty.

The decision, sources said, will be conveyed to the Supreme Court on Monday as promised by the government during hearings earlier this week.