Italy makes conditional offer to assist in probe

Last Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 15:40

Kochi: Italy Thursday offered to cooperate with
Kerala police for the ballistic examination of the weapons of the two arrested marines, suspected to have shot and killed
two Indian fishermen, but said it should be in their presence.

`We will cooperate for the ballistic examination, but we
should also be present. Hope it will bring out justice`,
Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Stefan de Mistura said.

A Kollam court on February 21 had permitted police to
search the Italian ship Enrica Lexie to seize the arms
allegedly used by the two onboard naval guards to shoot and
kill two Indian fishermen.

Talking to reporters after meeting the two Marines at the
CISF Guest House at Wellington here this morning, Mistura
said the firing incident took place in international waters.

"We stick to our stand that the vessel was in
international waters when the incident took place. It was 22.5
nautical miles of Kollam coast`, he said.

The visiting Minister said he felt sad for the families of
the dead fishermen. "We expressed regret."

The marines have been arrested on the charge of killing
the two Indian fishermen on Feb 15 off Kollam coast. Italy has
been maintaining that they opened fire suspecting the
fishermen`s boat to be pirates.

Meanwhile, the two guards were today taken to Kollam for
being produced before a court at the end of their three-day
police custody.

Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone were taken in
separate vehicles by police to Kollam, a nearly three hours
journey from here. They have to be produced in court by 4 pm.

On the legal front, the petition filed by Italian Consul
General in Mumbai Gian Paolo Cutillo and the two accused
seeking to quash the FIR against them will come up before the
Kerala High Court today.


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First Published: Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 15:40

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