As I have suggested a number of times, there are several solutions to this problem, but it appears that neither the Indian or Italian governments have been able to reconcile the matter amicably.
COMMENT: One issue which I have raised in the past is for a disinterested party to release exactly where the tanker was positioned at sea at the time of the shooting, as India contends that the vessel was in Indian coastal waters, while Italy insists that the ship was in international waters.
The Marines, who were providing anti-piracy security aboard an Italian merchant ship, are accused of shooting the fishermen, after mistaking them for pirates off India's southwest coast.
Meanwhile, the ship they were working on, the ENRICA LEXIE, has been barred from leaving India.
The two Marines, Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone, were first detained on February 19, and have been held since March 5, in a segregated cell at the Central Prison in Thiruvanantapuram.
Italy wanted them kept in a guest house, according to privileges granted in Italy to military personnel. But Kerala's Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the Italians would be given no quarter.
Several countries, including India, allow ship owners to use armed security guards to protect against pirate attacks, now a major threat to merchant ships in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea.
Italy's position is that having military personnel aboard merchant ships is governed by an Italian law conforming to UN anti-piracy resolutions, and that such personnel are part of the Italian state and therefore immune to the jurisdiction of foreign states.
A high-level Italian diplomatic mission was unable last month to persuade the Indians to relinquish custody. Italy has since engaged the European Union to lobby its case with New Delhi.