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Marines case: Latorre too wants to stay back in Italy like Girone

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Says fellow accused got it during pendency of case

About two years after the Supreme Court allowed him to leave India for Italy to recuperate following a stroke, Italian marine Massimiliano Latorre told the court on Thursday that he preferred to remain home till a final decision is made on which country has the jurisdiction to try him and compatriot Salvatore Girone for the 2012 murder of two Kerala fishermen.

Mr. Latorre, who has been taking periodic extension to his stay in Italy since September 2014, told the court through his lawyers that he wanted to stay back like Mr. Girone till an international tribunal decides Italy’s plea that India did not have the jurisdiction.

The Centre had once submitted that the tribunal’s decision was expected only by 2018-end.

Girone’s precedent

In May 2016, the Supreme Court allowed Mr. Girone to leave for Italy on “humanitarian grounds” after the government endorsed his plea. He was forced to stay back in India when Mr. Latorre had gone home to get better.

Addressing a Bench of Justices Anil R. Dave and L. Nageshwara Rao at an urgent mentioning, Mr. Latorre’s lawyers, led by K.T.S. Tulsi, said their client should be given the same privilege of staying back in Italy on the same conditions as it was allowed to Mr. Girone.

“We allowed him to go because he was sick,” Justice Dave remarked.

The Bench, however, asked the Centre to prepare its response to Mr. Latorre’s plea by the next hearing scheduled for September 20. The last extension granted by the Supreme Court to him was till September 30.

Conditional permission

In May, a Vacation Bench of Justices P.C. Pant and D.Y. Chandrachud allowed Mr. Girone to leave the country on the condition that he remained under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and reported to the local police station in Italy once every month.

Also, the Italian authorities would keep the Indian Embassy informed.

The court had warned that it would cancel the relief if Mr. Girone was found using his liberty to influence witnesses or tamper with the evidence.

Besides, the Italian Ambassador has undertaken to ensure his return within a month if the tribunal rules in favour of a trial in India. Mr. Latorre is willing to abide by the same conditions.

In August 2015, the court suspended all proceedings in India after Italy moved the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 4:42:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Marines-case-Latorre-too-wants-to-stay-back-in-Italy-like-Girone/article14630628.ece

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