New Delhi (AsiaNews)
- The Italian Marines Massimiliano Latorre and
Salvatore Girone were in international waters at the time of the murder
of two Indian fishermen. This has been established by the Supreme Court of India today, which, however, has also stated that at the
time of the offense, the two
soldiers were not subject to immunity, because serving as security
guards on the Enrica Lexie.
According to this, the Kerala Government
no longer has the authority to deal with
the case, because it is a federal
crime, and only the central government can judge the two soldiers. The Supreme Court has transferred the case to a special court for homicides, in New
Delhi (the capital) which will decide
if the marines should be judged in
India or Italy.
The Supreme Court ruling was expected for several months: the jurisdiction trial concluded in September 2012, and the verdict of the court was decisive for all other proceedings against the two sailors. Harish Salve, the lawyer for two sailors, said he was "satisfied" with the exclusion of the Kerala government.
The incident occurred on the Enrica Lexie February 15, 2012. The two marines were aboard the tanker as security guards, and are accused of having shot an Indian fishing boat, mistaking it for a pirate boat. Two men from the crew, Jelestein and Ajesh Binki, died from the shots fired by the military.