Kerala govt opposes plea of Italian marines

Latore Massimiliano Salvatore Girone

The Kerala government on Tuesday opposed in the High Court the plea by the two Italians marines for relaxation of bail conditions so that they could visit Italy for Christmas. The marines are facing trial on charges of killing two Indian fishermen in February.

The government told the court that allowing such a move would "torpedo" the trial.

Meanwhile, Justice P Bhavadasan has directed the Union government to inform by 1.45 pm Wednesday whether the assurance given by the Italian embassy on the return of the two marines after Christmas was acceptable. The petition by the marines — Massimiliano Latore and Salvatore Girone — will come up for hearing on Wednesday.

Director General of Prosecution, T Asaf Ali, said there are parallel proceedings pending before the office of Public Prosecutor Tribunal of Rome for "intervening" in international waters. "If the government of Italy withholds them for further prosecution of the case, we have no legal remedy to bring them back," he said.

He said their travel to Italy will "torpedo" the trial here. But the marines can travel anywhere in Kerala, he said.

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