SIT seizes weapons during search of Italian vessel

A Special Investigation Team seized several weapons from the Italian merchant vessel Encrica Lexie during a search.

Kochi: A Special Investigation Team on Saturday seized several weapons from the Italian merchant vessel
Encrica Lexie during a search to trace the firearms used by
two marines, who allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen.

"We have seized many weapons and we will zero in the right
weapons after the ballistic examination," police sources said that as the search progressed in the presence of a 10-member
Italian delegation, including two ballistic experts who were
flown in from Rome this morning.

Italian Consul General, Giampaolo Cuttillo was also present
during the search along with his country`s ballistic experts
Major Flebus Luca and Major Fratini Paolo.
The SIT of Kerala police began the search around noon with
forensic and finger print experts also on board the vessel
berthed here.

The two arrested marines -- Latore Massimiliano and
Salvatore Girone have been charged with murder in connection
with the killing of the Indian fishermen on Feb 15.

Kochi Police commissioner, M R Ajith Kumar, heading the
SIT, Kollam Police commissioner, Debesh Kumar Behera, along
with a team of police officers were on board the tanker.
Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy said government would make
all efforts to ensure that families of the two Indian
fishermen get the maximum compensation.

The probe was in the right direction, he said adding the
Central government was extending all cooperation to the State.

Since the State government had taken a strong stand the
Italian government was cooperating with the probe, he told a
meet-the-press programme of the Ernakulam press club here.

The incident had occurred in Indian waters and the Italian
marines should be subjected to Indian laws, he said.

The Kerala High Court had yesterday ordered arrest and
detention of the vessel at Kochi port oil terminal till Monday