Shift Italian marines' trial to Kerala: Oommen Chandy



Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has urged the Central Government to set up the special court at Kollam district to conduct the trial of the two Italian marines charged with the killing of two Indian fishermen.

In a letter to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Chandy has also given an undertaking that the Sessions Court, Kollam, will be designated as a special court to expedite the trial.

"In a separate message to the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister I have asked to set up the Supreme Court recommended special court in Kerala. I have suggested the Kollam court for this," Chandy told media here.

"We stressed on that it should be in Kerala because, if the case is shifted to a place like Delhi, all the witnesses will have to go there, all the records of the case till date is in Malayalam. All these have to be translated. There will be lot of technical, practical and legal difficulties in doing these," he added.

Chandy also thanked Dr. Singh for taking strong measures to bring back Italian marines to the country for the trial in the case.

The arrival of two Italian marines who are to face trial for killing two Indian fishermen back to New Delhi eased tensions between the two countries on Friday.

Italy's previous decision not to send the marines to face trial in India triggered a diplomatic standoff.

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered Italy's Ambassador to India Daniele Mancini not to leave the country till April 2, when the next hearing into the killing of two Kerala fishermen allegedly by two Italian marines is scheduled.

The apex court further indicated that all authorities should take appropriate steps on the order restraining the Italian envoy from leaving the country.

The two Italian marines, Salvatore Latorre and Massimiliano Girone, charged with homicide for killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast in February 2012 after mistaking them for pirates, were permitted by the Supreme Court to go to Italy for four weeks to vote in last month's election.

The two were also allowed to go home during Christmas. They returned to India on the expiry of their leave.

ANI