Magistrate court extends police remand of the two Italian marines
The Kerala High Court on Thursday admitted a petition filed by Italian Consul General Giampaolo Cutillio and the two marines allegedly involved in the killing of two Indian fishermen on February 15, seeking quashing of the First Information Report (FIR) registered against the marines by Kerala Police.
The court issued notice to the Central and State governments and the State police and posted the case for hearing on February 28.
The petitioners' main contention was that India had no jurisdiction to register a case against marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone as the alleged offence took place beyond India's territorial waters. Only courts in Italy had the jurisdiction to investigate or prosecute the accused under international laws applicable in such cases, they said.
Inspection of vessel
Meanwhile, the decks were cleared for an inspection of ship Enrica Lexie, from which the two marines allegedly shot dead the Indian fishermen, by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Kerala police with the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court, Kollam, allowing an Italian delegation, now in the State, to depute a representative of theirs to witness the search operation.
The court also extended the police remand of the two marines till March 1.
The marines were produced before the magistrate on Thursday afternoon amidst tight security with the prosecution plea that their presence was vital during search operations. Counsels for the marines did not object to this, but came up with the plea that any search operation should be conducted in the presence of a representative from the Italian government.
The plea was granted with the condition that the identity of the representative would be communicated in advance to the court. The Italian side agreed with this proposal. The ship would be brought to the wharf, depending on wharf availability, over the coming two or three days to facilitate search and recovery, prosecution counsel told journalists.