Kollam: Two Catholic priests from Italy
visited the home of one of the two fishermen gunned down by
marines of Italian ship Enrica Lexie, fuelling speculation
that their mission was to explore possibilities of settling
the case through out-of-court mediation.
The family members of slain fisherman Jalastine Valentine
and the authorities of the Kollam Catholic Diocese, however,
denied such a motive on the part of the priests.
According to police sources, the priests visited the
house of Jalastine here yesterday and prayed at the cemetery
where the fisherman was buried.
"We did not discuss the details of the case. They
conveyed their sympathies and prayed for the departed soul,"
Jalastine`s wife Dora said.
Meanwhile, a diocesan spokesman also refuted reports that
the visiting priests discussed details of the case with the
church authorities, apparently to explore chances of a
In a statement, diocesan spokesman George Robario said,
"The church has never interfered in the case. The church`s
firm stand is that the case should take its own course under
the Indian laws. The church also welcomes the steps taken by
the state government in the case."
Last month, Italy`s Deputy Foreign Minister Steffan di
Mistura had visited the church authorities and the bereaved
Two marines of the ship, Latore Massimiliano and
Salvatore Girone, have been charged with murder and remanded
in the central prison here since February 19, four days after
They were arrested and charged with murder of Jalastine
and fellow fisherman Ajesh Binki, the latter belonging to
Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu. They had put out to sea
from Neendakara in Kollam.