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Supreme Court notice on Italian marines plea against probe by NIA

Posted on Mar 28 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, March 28 : The Supreme Court Friday issued notice to the Indian government on a plea by two Italian marines challenging the investigation by the NIA into the killings of two Indian fishermen off Kerala coast in 2012.

While issuing the notice, a bench of Justice B.S.Chauhan and Justice J. Chelameswar also deferred the March 31 hearing of the case against the marines by the special court.

The marines, Massimilliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone, have contended that their case could not be investigated and prosecuted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) which had no jurisdiction.

Appearing for the Italian marines, senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi told the court that since the Indian government has deciding that marines would not be tried under the provision of anti-piracy law, therefore the jurisdiction of NIA to investigate and prosecute them also disappears.

The central government Feb 24 had told the apex court that it was not invoking the anti-piracy SUA Act against the two Italian marines.

Lattore and Girone have been held in India since February 2012 when they allegedly shot dead the two Indian fishermen, mistaking them for pirates.

The marines were serving as security personnel on Italian oil tanker MT Enrica Lexie crossing the Indian Ocean.

India claims jurisdiction in the case while Italy alleges the incident took place in international waters and the marines should be tried in their home country.

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