Italian marines get gifts from colleagues

Two Italian marines are facing trial for killing two Indian fishermen.

Kochi: Italian Defence Minister Giampaolo Di Paolo met the two Italian marines, who are facing trial for killing two Indian fishermen, and handed over gifts from their regiment colleagues based in Afghanistan.

The gifts -- a shawl each and T shirts, were sent by the marines of San Marco regiment based at Herat in Afghanistan for Massimiliano Latore and Salvatore Girone. They had affixed their signatures on the shawls, sources said.

Latore and Girone also belong to the same regiment. The gifts were handed over to the marines when they met Di Paolo at a five-star hotel here on Saturday night, they said.

The Italian minister addressed the media on Sunday morning, flanked by the two marines. Italy`s Defence Attaché Franco Favre was also present.

Di Paolo had arrived here last night from Herat, a province in Afghanistan, where at least 3,000 Italian military personnel are based. Three hundred of them would return to Italy for Christmas.

The marines, facing trial for shooting to death two Indian fishermen off the Kerala`s coast in February, have filed a petition in the Kerala High Court, seeking relaxation of their bail conditions to enable them celebrate Christmas with their families.