HC extends release of Italian vessel by another day



Kochi/Kollam: The Kerala High Court on Monday further stayed the release of Italian vessel Enrica Lexie till Tuesday even as a court in Kollam extended for 14 days the judicial remand of the ship's two marines, charged with gunning down two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 15.

In the high Court, acting Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice V Chidambaresh observed that petitioner Dolphin Tankers, owner of the vessel, ought to have approached the magistrate court for the ship's release.

The bench orally observed, "We cannot block the jurisdiction of magistrate court and deviate from procedure.

Criminal Procedure Code is applicable in this case also. Procedure cannot be changed in the reason that there is involvement of huge money. We cannot unsettle a settled procedure."

The court adjourned the case to tomorrow for further hearing on the request of petitioners.

Meanwhile, the remand of marines Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone has been extended by another 14 days. They were produced before Chief Judicial Magistrate AK Gopakumar after being brought from the central prison in the state capital where they are lodged.

The naval guards were arrested on February 19 and charged with murder of fishermen Valentine Jalastine and Ajesh Binki, who had put out to sea from Neendakara in Kollam.

PTI