Kochi: Kerala High Court on Friday observed that
killing of two Indian fishermen by the Italian marines onboard
a merchant ship was a "terrorist act" as they had fired at
The oral observation was made by Justice C S Gopinath
while hearing arguments on a petition by the owners of the
Italian vessel `Enrica Lexie` seeking her release.
The ship has been detained here since the two fishermen
Jelestine and Ajesh Binki were shot dead by two Italian
marines off Kerala coast on February 15.
"As far as the victims are concerned, it is a terrorist
act. Without any warning, the two were shot dead, they were
unarmed," the court said.
The Director General of Shipping informed the court that
the vessel need not be held back. All evidence have been
taken from the ship during the inquiry.
In a statement filed by Mercantile Marine department under
the shipping ministry, it was stated that DG shipping had no
objection to the ship being released on condition that the
owner would present the master crew and security guards of the
ship before any competent authority or courts in India in
connection with any further investigation, if needed.
It was stated that the inquiry was in progress and it
could not be completed as the Italian marines were now in
judicial custody. The probe so far revealed that the firing
Meanwhile, Advocate General K P Dandapani said the result
of the forensic examination of weapons seized from the vessel
was awaited. Only after the results were obtained, it could be
ascertained that the bullets were shot from the weapons
Weapons shown by the Italians were seized by the police
who do not know if it had been tampered with, the AG stated.
The case was adjourned to Mar 27.