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Updated: February 24, 2012 02:33 IST

Court admits plea for quashing FIR

Kerala Bureau
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Italian marines Latore Massimiliano, second from right, and Salvatore Girone, rear behind Massimiliano, after they were produced before Kollam magistrate court, on Thursday.
Italian marines Latore Massimiliano, second from right, and Salvatore Girone, rear behind Massimiliano, after they were produced before Kollam magistrate court, on Thursday.

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.

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the covert killings of indian fishermen by italian nationals in the garb
of protecting their ship from pirates is in no way justified. if it had
been us in their shoes we would have been at the receiving end. giving a
diplomatic hue to a crime, herein,a murder, is cowardly. the govt has not
and should not budge, for it is in no way diplomatic to kill innocents.

from:  Akshay
Posted on: Feb 24, 2012 at 14:17 IST

I think India is taking right stand by following the law. Though it
happened in international waters we should probe an inquiry of what led
to the shooting of fisherman. If Italian guards were not found to be willful in shooting, we should let them go.Italian authority have no
right to interfere in the process of investigation or about rights of
the Kerala police to investigate the case. I think the hearing of the
case should be done fast and should be solved without any delay. Any
ways kudos to Indian government for being so tough.

from:  Arun kumar
Posted on: Feb 23, 2012 at 23:13 IST

Let the law of the land takes its course. Italian Marines have made a
mistake by the misjudged of situation. In similar, situation, in the
east end, Sri Security forces kills, hundreds in a year, innocent fisher
men, why there is no cry!!

from:  Alex Cinnappan
Posted on: Feb 23, 2012 at 21:28 IST

I agree. But put yourself in as a guard on the ship. Pirates board ships in that region masquerading as fisherman. I do not think that there was any willful shooting of the fishermen. I personally think it was an unfortunate error, and also occurred outside territorial waters. Let the courts work it out - unemotionally and with no regard for what the people feel, and purely based on the facts at hand.
The rest is conjecture. As to what might have happened if an Italian was shot outside Indian territorial waters - and that too "anywhere in the world". Chances are, we may never see such an event. But you are right about the question as to "what might have happened".
Take the case of the American lady who was accused of committing a murder. It was a sordid case. The case went for a long time, almost 2 years and she was acquitted. She was not declared "Innocent". But then, people can argue that she was an American - and so on.

from:  G R
Posted on: Feb 23, 2012 at 21:23 IST

India should strictly follow the law. Intimidate the oppesite party is always the tactic of europeans. Especially when the opposite is third world.

from:  Sebastain Joseph
Posted on: Feb 23, 2012 at 18:44 IST

If Kerala Police does not have any authority to conduct an investigation, then who has the authority? As a country, India has the obligation to protect its citizens who go out to the sea for fishing. We acknowledge that the Italians did not recognize, if that was the case, they should have called for help from the Indian Coast Guard, the Italians do not have the right to shoot in international waters.

This is involuntary manslaughter, and there should be jail time associated with this crime.

from:  Chandra
Posted on: Feb 23, 2012 at 18:26 IST

If one were to go by the arguments of the Italian officials, no action could be taken against anybody if a crime was committed in the international waters. That supports the case of pirates as they too operate in international waters!

from:  C S JACOB
Posted on: Feb 23, 2012 at 16:12 IST

Ever wondered what would have happened if Indian Navy personnel aboard an Indian Ship shot innocent Italian Fishermen, Anywhere in the World?
That our Navy personnel would have received should be the treatment given to these Italian marines.

from:  Ashish VB
Posted on: Feb 23, 2012 at 16:03 IST
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