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'Italian vessel can't sail till Monday'

Kerala,Diplomacy, Fri, 30 Mar 2012 IANS

Kochi, March 30 (IANS) A division bench of the Kerala High Court Friday stayed an order by a single bench permitting the Italian cargo ship Enrica Lexie, from which two marines had opened fire killing two Indian fishermen, to sail after its owners furnished a bond of Rs.3 crores and met other conditions.


The bench was acting on a petition filed by the families of the two fishermen who were shot dead.



On Thursday, a single bench had asked the ship's owners furnish a bond of Rs.3 crore and meet other conditions, such as the ship's captain, as also the vessel, be brought to Kerala for any further investigations that might be required.



The division bench held the view that it would be practically impossible to bring back the ship or its captain at a later date if the situation demands.



The state government's counsel informed the court Friday that he had opposed the ship being permitted to sail.



The division bench after hearing all the pleas, said it would again take up the matter on Monday.



On Wednesday, counsel for the ship's owners, Dolphin Tankers, told the court that the company was incurring huge expenditure with the ship docked off Kochi and it should be allowed to leave as they were fully cooperating with the investigation.



Two fishermen, Ajesh Binki, 25, and Gelastine, 45, were apparently mistaken as pirates and shot dead by marines aboard the vessel Feb 15, off Alappuzha.



The marines, Latorre Massimillano and Salvatore Girone, were picked up from the vessel and sent to jail Feb 20 on murder charges by a court in Kollam. They are lodged in the Central Prison in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.


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