05/19/2012, 00.00
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Indian authorities say no to bail for Italian marines

The news comes at the end of 90 days in custody and after the confirmation of the charge of murder against the two soldiers. According to the police there is a risk of influencing the key trial witnesses. Italy recalls its ambassador to Rome.

Trivandrum (AsiaNews) - Kollam Court has refused the bail request for the two Italian marines of the Enrica Lexie accused of killing two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala. According to the court, there is a risk of influencing the witness in the case. The rejection comes right at the end of the 90-day remand. The request for release on bail of Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone had already been rejected on 11 May for technical reasons.

The Enrica Lexie case dates to February 15th, when the two soldiers on board the Italian tanker as security guards, fired on an Indian fishing boat mistaking it for a pirate vessel off the coast of Kerala. The two victims were Jelestein, 45, and Binki Ajesh, 25. Latorre and Pool are in jail since March 5. They are charged with murder and attempted murder. On 25 April, the families of two fishermen reached a 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 as the injured parties. However, yesterday the Kerala police initiated a charge of manslaughter for the two soldiers.

In response to the Indian authorities, the Italian Foreign Ministry withdrew its ambassador in India, Giacomo Sanfelice, to Rome for consultations with the government. (N.C.)

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