Italian Marines return to Kochi

Italian marines

After celebrating Christmas with their families, the two Italian Marines, facing murder charges in Kerala, arrived here by special charter plane this morning, officials said.

Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who were allowed to go home for two weeks by the High Court, came by a special flight for Kochi at 7.50 AM, airport sources said.

They will soon leave for Kollam court to surrender their passports.

The marines were arrested on February 19 last year for shooting to death two Indian fishermen Ajesh Binki (25) and Jelestine (45) from onboard merchant vessel 'Enrica Lexie' off Alapuzha coast, 'mistaking' them for Somali pirates.

Stringent conditions had been laid down by the court, which had asked them to return by January 10. The Kollam sessions court had asked them to be present for the trial on January 15.

The Italians had also executed Rs six crore bank guarantee as directed by the Kerala High Court for allowing them to leave for two weeks.

Kerala Government had opposed the marines plea in the High Court by saying it was a ruse to "smuggle them out" and would "torpedo" the ongoing trial.

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