India's top court on Tuesday closed criminal proceedings against two Italian marines who were accused of killing two Indian fishermen in 2012.
"The Supreme Court has implemented the international arbitral award...that was passed at Hague which directed that the two Italian marines have functional and military immunity and therefore they can be tried only in Italy and not in India," Diljeet Titus, a lawyer representing Italy, told Anadolu Agency.
"The Supreme Court has closed all the criminal proceedings in India to allow the Italians to be investigated in Italy," he added.
He further said that a compensation to the tune of 100 million Indian rupees ($1.36 million) has been paid by Italy.
"The government has deposited the money with the Supreme Court registry and has directed a judge nominated by the Kerala High Court to oversee the disbursement of the compensation amount," said Titus.
The marines -- Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone -- were accused of killing two unarmed Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala on Feb. 15, 2012. Soon after the incident they were taken into custody, but were later released on bail.
In 2013, India's top court had allowed the two marines to visit their country to vote in the elections. But they did not return to India, and subsequently, the Italian government refused to return two of its marines.
In 2015, Italy moved to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea regarding this case.