Kerala govt opposes release of Italian vessel

Kerala govt opposed release of Italian ship Enrica Lexie, detained here after two Italian marines on board allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen.

Last Updated: Mar 12, 2012, 21:50 PM IST

Kochi: The Kerala government today opposed
release of Italian ship Enrica Lexie, detained here after two
Italian marines on board allegedly shot dead two Indian
fishermen off the Kerala coast on March 15, saying it cannot
be permitted to leave at this stage as investigations are on.

The submission in this regard was made in the Kerala High
Court by senior government pleader on a petition by Dolfin
Tankers Ltd, owner of the vessel, seeking its release.
The government counsel stated that investigation was
going on and the ship cannot be permitted to leave at this
stage.

Justice Harun-Ul-Rasheed, before whom the petition came
up, directed the government to file a statement indicating the
stage of investigation.

The petitioner contended that police had recovered some
material objects and also seized some weapons and that the
continued detention of the ship since February 15 has caused
them huge losses.
They said the authorities were not permitting the ship to
leave port citing technical grounds.

The fishermen, Valentine Jalastine and Ajesh Binki, who
had put out to sea on `St Antony` from Neendakara in Kollam,
were allegedly shot dead by the marines on February 15 after
suspecting them to be pirates.

The marines Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Gironi
were arrested and charged with the murder of the fishermen.

PTI