Fishermen killing row: Italy to move Kerala HC

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 11:52

Zeenews Bureau

Kochi: The Italian government through its Embassy in Delhi will move the Kerala High Court over the arrest of two of their naval guards after they were charged with killing of two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast.

As per reports on Tuesday, a senior Supreme Court lawyer has consented to provide counsel to the Italians. The Italian government wants quashing of the FIR against its naval personnel, who they stress were acting to prevent piracy – they want them to be tried under UN laws.

Two naval guards of the Italian ship Enirca Lexie were produced before a local magistrate in Kollam yesterday who sent them to judicial custody till March 5

Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone have been charged with murder under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.

The deceased - Valentine Jalastine and Ajeesh Binki – last week set out to sea in a boat along with nine fellow-fishermen from Neendakara fishing harbour.

They were allegedly killed by the marines of the ship who fired at their boat on February 15.

But the accused claim that they mistook the deceased as pirates and shot them when they came close to the shipping vessel.

Meanwhile, talks are on at the highest level over the issue.

Italy has said the two marines have immunity from Indian law as the merchant vessel was flying with an Italian flag in international waters as it sailed from Singapore to Egypt when the firing incident occurred last Wednesday.

Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said there were "considerable differences" with India over the killing of the fishermen.

However, India has maintained that the accused must face justice in local courts.

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First Published: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 11:52

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