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  • » 01/18/2013, 00.00


    Kerala government loses jurisdiction in Italian marines’ trial

    For the Supreme Court the incident occurred in international waters, but the military can not claim immunity. A special court in New Delhi will take up the case and decide where they will be judged

    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.


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    See also

    18/05/2012 INDIA - ITALY
    Kerala police claim Italian marines responsible for murder and attempted murder
    Charge contained in the documents submitted to the court by the Special Investigation Team of Kochi (SIT). Exact location of incident also indicated, but no reference to ballistic report. Marines to be transferred in a guest house within 20 days.

    11/07/2012 INDIA - ITALY
    Pastor of Quilon: Italian Marines are good men
    Fr. Stephen Kulakkayathil, from the diocese of the two Indian fishermen killed in the incident with Enrica Lexie, had lunch with Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone. Postponed to July 17 next, the first trial hearing. The marines are accused of murder.

    13/12/2012 ITALY - INDIA
    Military chaplain: our marines in India are waiting for Christmas
    Fr. Giuseppe Faraci, a Comboni missionary who has cared for the welfare of the two marines from the beginning, speaks to AsiaNews about their spiritual and human growth. On December 17, there could be the Supreme Court ruling on jurisdiction. The chaplain is "optimistic" but "ready to go" to celebrate Christmas with them. Respect and the attention of the Indians, even when they were in prison.

    12/07/2012 ITALY - INDIA
    Chaplain to Italian marines: We must learn from the charity of Indian fishermen
    Interview with Fr. Joseph Caraci, Comboni missionary who has followed the Enrica Lexie case from the beginning, in which two marines of the San Marco Battalion are accused of killing two Indian fishermen. Tolerance, religiosity, and the pain of the Catholic community in India, to be able to "look beyond" and seek truth and justice.

    10/04/2012 INDIA - ITALY
    Kerala lawyer: ballistic tests on Marines' weapons "irrefutable proof"
    According to the report of the Forensic Sciences Laboratory in Trivandrum, the bullets extracted from the bodies of two fishermen in India correspond to two Beretta rifles found on board the Enrica Lexie. Vincent Panikulangara, High Court of Kerala: "We must wait for the judgment on jurisdiction."

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