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Supreme Court jolt for Italian marines

Posted on Jan 18, 04:40PM | IBNS

Two Italian marines, who were arrested in Kerala for allegedly gunning down two Indian fishermen mistaking them as sea pirates in February last year, faced a setback in the Supreme Court on Friday as it directed their trial in a special court to be set up in India instead of facing the law from their home country Italy.

The Supreme Court also said Kerala has no jurisdiction to try Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone.

It said the Chief Justice of India should be consulted and a special court set up for trial.

The two marines had returned to India earlier this month after celebrating Christmas with their families in Italy.

The Kerala High Court last month had allowed the marines to return home in Italy briefly for Christmas.

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

As per directions of the Keralal High Court, the Italian officials had deposited a bank guarantee of Rs. 6 crore in the Kollam Magistrate Court and then went home.

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

On Feb 15, 2012, 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.