Kochi: Two Italian marines accused of accused of killing two Indian fishermen, were on Thursday allowed to return home for Christmas by the Kerala High Court.
The marines, who are facing trial for murder charges, have been permitted to go to Italy for two weeks for celebrating Christmas, but on stringent conditions.
The marines named Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who are out on bail, will be required to hand over 60 million rupees as a bank guarantee to the court before leaving.
Disposing the petition by marines,Justice P Bhavadasan said the bail conditions can be modified if the Union government feels the undertaking by the Italian Ambassador and Italian Consul General are acceptable and travel documents can be issued to them.
The court asked the marines, arrested from Italian vessel `Enrica Lexie` on February 19 for allegedly shooting down two Indian fishermen off Alapuzha coast on Feb 15, to furnish a bank guarantee of Rs six crore.
It said they can leave India and remain in Italy for two weeks from the date of their departure and should return to India before 3 PM on Jan 10, 2013.
Their passports can be released on production of necessary travel documents for exit and re-entry and on filing of an unconditional undertaking that they would return to India and surrender their passports at 3 pm on Jan 10, it said.
The two authorities who have filed affidavits should file unconditional undertakings to keep surveillance of the marines during travel and while in Italy and on return to India and re-surrender and also assure they are produced in court on or before the date specified.
The authority concerned, who are to keep surveillance should furnish details of their addresses and mobile numbers and their movements in Italy to the Kochi police commissioner.
As per the conditions, the marines should not leave Italy, except for returning to India. On their return, they should be bound by the same conditions as stipulated in the May 20 2012 bail order, the court said.
Kerala Government had on Dec 18 opposed the plea by the marines to facilitate their visit to Italy, saying it was a method to `smuggle them out` and would "torpedo" the trial in the killing of two fishermen off the state`s coast in February.
With PTI Inputs