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Timeline: The Italian Marines Case

Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre (left) and Salvatore Girone being produced at a court in Kollam. File photo.  

Feb 15, 2012: Two fishermen, Jelestine and Ajeesh Pinku, who had left for fishing in a mechanised boat from the Neendakara Fishing Harbour >were shot dead in the seas off Ambalapuzha. The incident is reported to have taken place in international waters. The ship from which the fishermen were fired upon was identified as the Enrica Lexie. The Lexie claims it thought the fishermen were pirates.

Feb 16, 2012: The Indian Navy >lashes out at the Italian oil tanker, Enrica Lexie, for flouting the laid-down counter-piracy measures, which resulted in the ship's armed guards, who are Italian military personnel, gunning down two Indian fishermen. Italian Consul General in India, GiamPaolo Cutillo reaches Kochi, meets the Coast Guard and Kerala police.

Feb 17, 2012: Italian oil tanker Enrica Lexie is >brought to Kochi and police and Coast Guard personnel question the crew.

Feb 18, 2012: External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna >has a telephonic conversation with and his Italian counterpart Giulio Terzi di Sant’ Agata. India wants the captain of Enrica Lexia and the two marksmen who shot the fishermen to surrender to Kerala Police. Italy wants the three to be permitted to leave in return for a joint investigation into the incident. Talks fail.

Feb 19, 2012: Kerala police >arrest the two Marines (Latorre Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone) suspected to have fired the shots. Captain of the tanker Umberto Vitelli is also questioned.

Feb 20, 2012: Latorre Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone are >remanded in judicial custody for 14 days (till March 5, 2012). Italy says the Marines have immunity from the Indian law as the tanker was flying an Italian flag in international waters, sailing from Singapore to Egypt, when the shooting occurred.

Feb 21, 2012: Rome >decides to send junior Foreign Minister Staffan De Mistura to India.

Feb 22, 2012: >Italy moves the Kerala High Court, seeking to quash the first information report (FIR) registered against two of its naval personnel. The petition argues that under the principles of international law and conventions, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (which India has ratified) Indian courts have no jurisdiction to register a crime in connection with the incident.

Feb 23, 2012: Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Staffan de Mistura visits Kochi, >meets the Marines who are held at a CISF guest house. Italy launches a parallel investigation of the incident by its agencies back home.

Feb 25, 2012: A Special Investigation Team of the Kerala police >searches and seizes weapons on board Enrica Lexie in the presence of the Italian technical team.

Feb 28, 2012: External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and his Italian counterpart Giulio Terzi di Sant’ Agata in New Delhi >discuss the on-going investigations in the case but continue to have differences over jurisdiction and legal aspects of the incident.

March 1, 2012: >Italy informs India that it has initiated criminal proceedings against the marines under its law that could lead to a prison term of not less than 21 years.

March 3, 2012: Italian >Deputy Foreign Minister Staffan De Mistura's bid to meet the kin of the deceased Jelastine alias Valentine fails. Police and Kollam diocese separately refuse to arrange the meeting, citing security issues.

March 7, 2012: Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti calls up Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, >expresses "regret" for the incident.

March 19, 2012: Kollam Chief Judicial Magistrate >extends the judicial custody of Marines by another 14 days, till April 2.

March 29, 2012: >Court allows Italian vessel to sail out, with riders. Judge directs the police to permit the ship to sail, on its agent furnishing a bond for Rs. 3 crore before the Deputy Conservator, Cochin Port Trust, and an undertaking that the vessel, master, and the crew would be produced as and when required by the Centre, Deputy Conservator, and Mercantile Marine Department (MMD).

April 3, 2012: Kerala High Court >sets aside Kollam Magistrate court's order.

April 20, 2012: The legal heirs of the two deceased fishermen tell the Kerala High Court that a settlement for paying a >compensation of Rs. 1 crore to each bereaved family has been reached between the Italian government representatives and them.

Apr 20, 2012: Additional Solicitor-General Harin Raval informs the Supreme Court that Enrica Lexie, was >not in Indian waters when the shooting incident occurred.

April 23, 2012: The legal heirs of two fishermen >file a petition in the Kerala High Court seeking to withdraw the affidavits and submissions made by them against Italy's plea for quashing the First Information Report registered against the marines.

April 24, 2012: The Kerala High Court >gives its seal of approval to the award passed by the Lok Adalat under the High Court Legal Service Committee, endorsing the settlement on compensation reached between the legal heirs of the two fishermen and Italian government.

April 27, 2012: The Kerala High Court >approves the out-of-court settlement reached between Italy and J. Freddy, owner of the mechanised boat which was fired upon by two marines The boat owner accepts the out-of-court-settlement of Rs.17 lakh.

Apr 30, 2012: Describing Italy's compromise with the kin of the two Indian fishermen as >“illegal” and “astonishing,” the Supreme Court says that they were “playing” with the Indian process of law.

The judicial remand of the two marines of Italian ship Enrica Lexie is extended by 11 days.

May 2, 2012: Supreme Court allows the vessel, Enrica Lexie, >to leave India, along with the crew and the remaining marines.

May 5, 2012: The >Italian ship leaves Indian waters after furnishing a bond of Rs. 3 crore.

May 18, 2012: >The 196-page charge-sheet is filed by Neendakara Coastal Police showing Lattore as the first accused and Girone as the second accused.

May 20, 2012: Italian PM Mario Monti >speaks to Manmohan Singh. Italy also recalls its Ambassador to India Giacomo Sanfelice to express its unhappiness over the charge sheet being filed against the marines.

May 30, 2012: Kerala High Court >grants bail to both the marines on various conditions, including a bond of Rs. 1 crore each with two Indian solvent sureties for a like amount. It also orders them to stay within a 10 km radius of the Kochi Police Commissioner's office and appear before the Commissioner on all days between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. and as and when required.

June 2, 2012: After 105 days in custody, the two Italian marines, arrested for allegedly gunning down two Indian fishermen off Kerala, are >released on bail.

Dec 21, 2012: The >passports of marines are released after Kerala High Court grants conditional permission for the marines to go to Italy for Christmas, subject to the decision of the union government.

Dec 22, 2012: The marines >fly back home for Christmas in a chartered flight.

Jan 4, 2013: >Marines return to Kerala from Italy post-Christmas.

Jan 18, 2013: The Supreme Court holds that the State of Kerala had >no jurisdiction to investigate into the `Italian marines shooting incident’ and says only the Union of India had jurisdiction to proceed with the investigation and trial of the two marines.

Feb 22, 2013: The Supreme Court permits Marines Massimilano Latorre and Salvatore Girone >to visit their country to vote in the February 24 and 25 elections.

March 11, 2013: >Italy refuses to return two of its marines.

March 12, 2013: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assures protesting Kerala MPs that >India will do everything possible to bring the two Marines back from Italy to stand trial. India tries to hold Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini as the Supreme Court that allowed the two marines to leave for their country upon the envoy's undertaking.

March 13, 2013: Feeling “insulted and shocked” by Italy’s stand, >senior advocate Harish Salve pulls out from representing that country in court.

March 14, 2013: Amidst a diplomatic row with India, Italy says >it is on solid legal ground in seeking international arbitration in the case.

The Supreme Court takes a serious view of Italy’s breach of undertaking and >restrains Ambassador Daniele Mancini from leaving the country without its permission.

March 18, 2013: Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini claims complete immunity under the Vienna Convention. Supreme Court makes it clear to >the envoy that a person who came to the court as a petitioner cannot claim any immunity.

March 21, 2013: The Italian government says >it will return to India two marines facing murder charges in the shooting deaths of two fishermen off the Kerala coast.

August 20, 2013: Italian marines >refuse to appear as witness in murder case.

September 18, 2013: Citing delay in trial, >Italy refuses to send witnesses

November 15, 2013: Italy >questions ballistic evidence

February 6, 2014: India >drops death penalty clause as Europe bats for Italian marines

February 18, 2014: Italy >recalls its envoy to India as marines case lags

March 28, 2014: Italy > rejects marines’ trial in India

September 12, 2014: SC >allows Italian marine Latorre to return home for 4 months

December 16, 2014: Supreme Court >disallows Italian marines’ plea

January 7, 2015: Marine >seeks extension to stay in Italy on health grounds

March 20, 2015: Italy has again raised the issue of its two marines facing trial in India with UN chief Ban Ki-moon, whose office said that the UN’s position of resolving the issue bilaterally “remains unchanged”. >Read more

April 7, 2015: Italian Marine Massimiliano Latorre >moved the Supreme Court seeking extension of his stay in Italy on medical grounds.

April 9, 2015: Supreme Court allows Italian marine to extend visit home. >Read more

April 10, 2015: Italian marine gets >third furlough.

June 27, 2015: Italy seeks the >immediate transfer of the two marines to the country.

July 15, 2015: In an application before the SC, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone said Italy was "constrained" to take the international arbitration route. >Read more

July 26,2015: Italy moves >ITLOS in Marines case.

August 11, 2015: India has told the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) that Italy’s plea in the Italian marines case was "misleading". >Read more

August 14, 2015: India rejects Italy's 4.4 crore offer to free marines.

August 24, 2015: UN court, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, for >status quo in Italian marines case.

August 26, 2015: Supreme Court suspends proceedings against marines.

January 13, 2016: The Supreme Court extends till April 30, 2016 the liberty extended to Italian marine Massimiliano Latorre to stay back in Italy.

January 12, 2016: The Italian Senate declares that the marine Massimiliano Latorre who went back home in 2014 because of ill-health will not return to face the judicial process

May 2, 2016: A U.N. arbitration court rules that India should release Italian marine Salvatore Girone.

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