Italian marines
Italian sailors Salvatore Girone (right) and Massimiliano Latorre Reuters

The Indian lawyer representing the Italian Marines accused in the killing of two Indian fishermen said on Wednesday that he will no longer defend them.

Harish Salve, appointed by the Italian embassy for Italian Naval Officers Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, said that Italy's decision to keep the marines after they were given permission to return for four weeks to vote in the general elections held last month violated the trust between the two countries, thereby affecting his decision to defend them.

Issuing a statement over his resignation Salve said, "It was an act of faith in a friendly government that the Government of India did not oppose this request, and an act of grace on the part of the Supreme Court of India to grant the permission sought for. I consider this action of the Republic of Italy as a breach of faith."

"It is my perception that the Italian Government should have, in the least, forewarned its Indian lawyers of the change of its position before communicating it to the Government of India. In these circumstances, I have informed the Italian ambassador that it will no longer be possible for me to appear for me to be associated with this case."

The Marines, Latorre and Girone, were arrested in Kerala after they shot dead two fishermen off the Kerala coast in February 2012 mistaking them to be pirates.

On Monday, Italy announced that it will not send back them back stating that the Indian government had violated the international laws of the sea. Rome said the Marines should be tried in Italy itself as the killings took place in International waters.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Jananta Party (BJP) said it will take up this diplomatic dispute between the two countries in Parliament on Wednesday and will move a Calling Attention Motion in both Houses.

"We are raising the issue of Italian marines in Parliament today," confirmed BJP leader Suhma Swaraj on Twitter.

"It is not a case of diplomatic stand off. It is one of diplomatic send off."

Left parties and Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy are expected to put pressure on the Centre to ensure the return of the two Marines to face trial under Indian laws.

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