NIA to probe killing of two Kerala fishermen

New Delhi, April 1 : The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been asked to probe the killing of two Indian fishermen allegedly by Italian marines off the Kerala coast, official sources said here Monday.

The sources said the investigation agency will probe the case afresh and file the charge sheet in an NIA special court or any other special court set up by the government in consultation with the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court had ruled in January this year that the Kerala government had no independent jurisdiction to try two Italian marines - Chief Master Sergeant Massimilano Latorre and Sergeant Salvatore Girone - for shooting down two fishermen.

The apex court held that it was only the union of India that had the jurisdiction to hold the trial of the two marines, and asked the central government, in consultation with the chief justice, to set up a special court to hold the trial.

The Italian government will be free to raise the question of jurisdiction.

If the issue is raised, the special court will decide the question whether the Indian or the Italian government has the jurisdiction to conduct the trial of the two marines under the maritime law.

The two Italian marines, on board the Italian cargo vessel Enrica Lexie, had allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen Feb 15 last year suspecting them to be pirates.

The Italian government had last month reversed its earlier decision not to send back the two marines, who had gone to Italy to cast votes in elections.

--IANS (Posted on 01-04-2013)

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