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Italian marines to return home for Christmas

Posted on Dec 20, 07:17PM | IBNS

The Kerala High Court on Thursday allowed two Italian marines, who are now languishing in a Kochi jail owing to legal delays after they were arrested for gunning down two Indian fishermen mistaking them as sea pirates in February, to return home briefly for Christmas.

However, the permission is still subjected to the Centre's clearance.

The marines, Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone, had earlier presented a plea in the Kerala High Court to allow them to visit Italy for Christmas.

The court directed the Italian authorities to provide the mobile numbers, addresses and movement details of the Italian marines to Kochi's Police Commissioner.

Granting permission to visit Italy, the court directed the petitioners to give a bank guarantee of Rs. 6 crore, reports said.

Italy last week called Indian Ambassador to their country Debabrata Saha to express its concern over the two marines.

While the marines got bail later by the Kerala High Court in May end, they were not allowed to go outside Kochi.

On Feb 15 this year, security officials of the Italian cargo vessel Enrica Lexie allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen mistaking them as pirates in the high seas off Ambalapuzha in Kerala. They were subsequently arrested.

At the instructions from the Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi, the Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Michele Valensise, summoned Debabrata Saha last week and expressed profound dismay over the delay in the legal process in India.

Italy demanded an urgent solution to the problem.