Kochi (AsiaNews) - "Two good men": says Fr. Stephen Kulakkayathil,
pastor of Quilon, to AsiaNews of Italian Marines Massimiliano Latorre and
Salvatore Girone, accused of killing two Indian
fishermen. The priest, in charge of pastoral care for the Catholic community to
which one of the victims belonged, had the opportunity to have lunch with them
in Kochi, where
they are awaiting the start of their trial. Scheduled for yesterday, the first
hearing was adjourned to 17 July. They are charged with the murder of
Jelestein, 45, and Binki Ajesh, 25,
in an incident dating to February 15 last between the
Italian tanker Indian Enrica Lexie and a fishing boat, off the coast of Kerala.
For Fr. Stephen, "it was lovely to meet them, an opportunity to confront and also understand their position. We have not talked about the case because it is an ongoing process, but I can say that I think they are good people. We and the families of victims pray for them". The lunch which took place two weeks ago, the lunch was also attended by Fr. Giuseppe Faraci, military chaplain, and other Indian priests.
Released on bail on May 30 last, the two Fusiliers from the San Marco Battalion have the only accused in the death of two fishermen. The Enrica Lexie case exploded on February 15th off the coast of Kerala, when the two soldiers on board the Italian tanker as security guards, mistook an Indian fishing boat for a pirates boat. On 25 April, the families of two fishermen have reached an extrajudicial agreement with the Italian government, which provided for compensation of 10 million rupees (about 145 thousand Euros) each, in exchange for withdrawal from civil cases in which they were cited as the injured parties. (GM)