Italian marines create ruckus

The marines initially resisted orders of the authorities to occupy the room identified for them.

Thiruvananthapuram: Two Italian marines,
remanded in judicial custody in connection with the killing of
two Indian fishermen, created a ruckus at the Central Prison
but the state government made it clear they would be
treated according to Indian laws and court orders.

The marines initially resisted orders of the authorities
to occupy the room identified for them when they were brought
to the Central Prison here from Kollam after the court there
remanded them for another 14 days, prison sources said.

As the stand-off between the jail authorities and the
marines, Latore Massimilano and Salvatore Girone, persisted
for a couple of hours, Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Steffan
de Mistura turned up to intervene and talked to the marines.

The prison authorities made it clear to the Italians that
they have no choice other than to obey the court order. After
a stern warning from prison officials, the marines yielded and
went to the room set apart for them.

"There is no question of taking any argument that the law
is not applicable to them," Chandy told reporters after a
cabinet meeting here, when asked about the incident.

He said the court had directed the jail authorities to
provide them Italian food and adequate medical facilities
which would be adhered to.

Asked whether the marines, who allegedly shot dead two
Indian fishermen from their vessel `Enrica Lexie`, would be
housed outside the prison, he said the government had no role
in the matter.

"It is up to the Director General of Police and ADGP in
charge of prisons to take an appropriate decision," he said.

If the marines wanted additional facilities, they should
obtain the permission of the court, Chandy said.

According to jail officials, they were given Italian food
as instructed by the court.

The two marines have been charged with murder for
allegedly gunning down the two fishermen on February 15 after
suspecting them to be pirates.