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Judicial custody of marines extended

Staff Reporter
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In custody:Italian marines Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone being taken to the Central Prison in Thiruvananthapuram from the CJM Court in Kollam on Monday.— Photo: C. Suresh Kumar
In custody:Italian marines Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone being taken to the Central Prison in Thiruvananthapuram from the CJM Court in Kollam on Monday.— Photo: C. Suresh Kumar

The judicial custody of the Italian marines Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone were extended by another 14 days (till April 30) by Kollam Chief Judicial Magistrate A.K. Gopakumar on Monday.

The marines were arrested by a special investigation team of the Kerala police on February 19 from the Italian ship Enrica Lexie on charges of opening fire and killing two Indian fishermen at sea on February 15.

During the first 14 days of their arrest, the marines were in police custody and were lodged at the CISF Guesthouse in Kochi for the first ten days and at the Police Club here for the next four days.

On March 5, after extending their judicial custody, Mr. Gopakumar had ordered that they be lodged at the Central Prison, Thiruvananthapuram.

They were ordered to be lodged at the Central Prison after the CJM rejected a plea from the Italian government that the court should consider lodging them at a suitable place outside the prison since they were serving personnel of the Italian Navy. This is the fourth time that their judicial custody is being extended.

While in judicial custody, the two marines were interrogated in the prison itself by officers of investigating team with the permission of the CJM. The interrogation was on the basis of the report which was obtained from the Forensic Science Laboratory, Thiruvananthapuram, after examining the arms and ammunition seized from the ship.

The marines were on Monday produced before the CJM at 11 a.m. and the judicial custody extension formalities were over in five minutes following which the marines were taken back to the Thiruvananthapuram Central Prison.

Italian officers present

Two Italian naval officers were present when the marines were produced before the court.

Deputy Director of Prosecution K.O. Raju appeared for the prosecution.

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