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Kerala High Court slams Italian Marines episode

Kerala,Crime/Disaster/Accident,Diplomacy, Fri, 23 Mar 2012 IANS

Kochi, March 23 (IANS) The Kerala high court Friday came down heavily on the manner in which two Italian marines shot dead two Indian fishermen and termed the incident as one equivalent to terrorist activity.


The single bench of Justice T.S. Gopinathan was hearing the case filed by the ship owners of the Italian vessel Enrica Lexie, who have been pleading that the ship be released.



The judge said that the shots were fired by the marines having not even given a warning. Hence, it was an activity which could be equated to an act of terrorism.



On March 15, counsel for the Kerala government told the Kerala High Court that the Italian vessel currently anchored in the sea off the coast here should not be allowed to leave, as the investigation in the case of their two security officials shooting dead two Indian fishermen is going on.



The two Italian marines Latorre Massimillano and Salvatore Girone have been charged with shooting dead Ajesh Binki (25) and Gelastine (45) Feb 15 after mistaking them to be pirates.



Since Feb 20, both the marines are under arrest and currently lodged at the Central Prison in the state capital.



Incidentally, as the hearing was going on Friday, it became evident that while the Centre was of the view that the ship can be set free, it was objected to by the state government.



The court posted the case for Tuesday when a final judgment is expected to come.



Next week, another important petition filed by the Italians asking for quashing of the FIR against them is also coming up for final disposal.



The Kerala Police had seized the weapons that were used for shooting the fishermen and the ballistic investigations are also expected to get over in the coming days.


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