SC grants three-month extension to Italian marine for stay in Italy

The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed murder accused Italian marine Massimiliano Latorre to stay for three more months in his country on medical grounds.

Updated: Jan 14, 2015, 11:38 AM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed murder accused Italian marine Massimiliano Latorre to stay for three more months in his country on medical grounds.

Latorre had filed a plea in the apex court seeking extension of his stay in Italy stating he had undergone heart surgery on January 5.

At the last hearing on Monday, the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu had referred to another bench the plea of Latorre, one of the two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen in 2012 off the Kerala coast.

While posting the matter for hearing on Wednesday, the bench in its order said, “On earlier occasion, an application filed by the petitioner had inter-alia made a plea seeking more or less the same relief. While hearing the said application, we had made certain observations.”

“Having made the observations on the application filed earlier we deem it not proper to take up the application for hearing and post it before another bench day after tomorrow,” the bench said.

On January 7, Latorre, one of the two Italian marines facing murder charges in the fishermen killing case, had moved the apex court seeking extension of his stay in Italy on the ground that he had undergone a heart surgery on January 5.

The case against marines pertains to the killing of two Indian fishermen allegedly by Latorre and Salvatore Girone on board the privately owned Italian oil-tanker 'Enrica Lexie' off the Kerala coast on February 15, 2012.

The bench had earlier refused to grant the extension to Latorre and had also rejected the plea of co-accused marine Girone, who had sought the apex court's nod to go to Italy to celebrate Christmas saying they cannot get such “leeway”.

Latorre was allowed by the apex court to go to Italy on September 12, 2014, for four months for medical treatment and recovery after he suffered a stroke here on August 31.

Later, Latorre had sought extension on the ground of scheduled heart surgery on January 8, which was denied.

Freddy, the owner of the fishing boat ‘St Antony’, in which the two Indian fishermen were killed when the marines started firing at them allegedly under the misconception that they were pirates, lodged the complaint.

(With PTI inputs)