Marine can stay in Italy till April 30

Mr. Latorre, one of the two marines along with Salvatore Girone, is accused of shooting dead two fishermen off Kerala coast in February 2012 mistaking them for pirates.

January 14, 2016 02:57 am | Updated November 17, 2021 10:53 am IST - Legal Correspondent

Amidst news reports that marine Massimiliano Latorre > will not return to India to face criminal trial for murder of two Indian fishermen in 2012, the Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed his stay in Italy to be extended for another three months till April 30.

Mr. Latorre, one of the two marines along with Salvatore Girone on duty aboard the vessel 'Enrica Lexie' is accused of shooting dead two fishermen off Kerala coast in February 2012 mistaking them for pirates.

A Bench of Justices Anil R.Dave, Kurian Joseph and Amitava Roy agreed to the submissions made by counsel Soli Sorabjee and K.T.S. Tulsi that Mr. Latorre, who suffered a brain stroke and returned to Italy to recuperate in September 2014, needed more time.

On Tuesday, the president of the defence committee of the Italian Senate declared that the marine Latorre will not return to face the trial for the 2012 murder of the two fishermen.

“Massimiliano Latorre will not go back to India and work is being done on the possibility of requesting for Salvatore Girone to be able to return to Italy,” Senatore Nicola Latorre (not related to the marine) was quoted as saying by Italy’s ANSA news agency today.

Also read: >He will have to return, says Centre

Mr. Latorre has been given periodic extensions by the Supreme Court to stay back ever since he left the country. Mr. Girone, however, is still in India.

In August 2015, the apex court had suspended all court proceedings in India against the marines following an interim order passed by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) asking India to maintain "status quo" till jurisdictional issue about which country has the right to conduct the trial was decided. Italy has invoked international arbitration challenging India's jurisdiction to try the marines.

To a question from Justice Roy as to when the arbitration proceedings would be concluded, Mr. Sorabjee replied that it may take at least a year. However, the court asked Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand to take instructions from the government and report back on April 13 as to how long the arbitration proceedings would take.

“We will post it on April 13. We will decide then on what future course of action to take in the case,” Justice Kurian explained to the court for the Bench.

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