12/18/2012, 00.00
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Kerala government: No to Christmas in Italy for two marines

by Nirmala Carvalho
The defense has asked the High Court of Kerala to allow the two marines home for Christmas, with the promise to return to India after the holidays. The state government fears instead Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone would remain in Italy, "torpedoing" the process.

Kochi (AsiaNews) - The Government of Kerala is against the request made by the two Italian marines Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre, to be allowed to return to Italy to celebrate Christmas with their families. Lawyers for the soldiers of the Battalion San Marco, on trial for the murder of two Indian fishermen, filed an appeal to the High Court of the state. The court should decide tomorrow, and asked the state governments and Central Union if it considers guarantees on the return of two of the Italian Marines in Kochi after the holidays "reliable".

In an affidavit, the Consul General of Italy in India, Giampaolo Cutillo, has guaranteed the return to India of the accused, immediately after the holiday season. However, the Government of Kerala is concerned that the temporary return to Italy would "torpedo" the entire trial. According to the Indian state in fact, the Italian government could hold Latorre and Girone for the parallel criminal proceeding undertaken by the Public Prosecutor of Rome. In this case, said the attorney general of Kerala Asaf Ali, "we would have no legal solution to bring them back."

Meanwhile, India and Italy await the verdict of the Supreme Court in the trial regarding the jurisdiction of the case. A verdict is, on which depends the final acquittal and return of the two sailors.

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See also
Military chaplain: our marines in India are waiting for Christmas
Christmas at home for Italian Marines. Chaplain: India knows they are credible people
Indian Supreme Court says Massimiliano Latorre can stay in Italy until the end of arbitration
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