Charge sheet filed against Italian marines in shootout case

Three months after they allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen off Kerala coast, police on Friday filed a charge sheet against two Italian marines in a court here charging them with murder under IPC and also invoking the International Maritime Law.

The marines, Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone on board the Italian ship 'Enrica Lexie' when the incident occurred on February 15, are listed as the first and second accused respectively in the 196-page charge sheet, including annexures, filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate.

The naval guards, lodged in the Central prison at Thiruvanathapuram for nearly three months, are also facing charges under IPC sections 307 (attempt to murder), 427 (causing damage or loss) and 34 (acting in common intention).

Article 3 of the Suppression of Unlawful Act of International Martime Navigation has also been invoked in connection with the incident which had led to a diplomatic row between India and Italy.

The charge sheet, drawn up after three months of investigation, said the ship was sailing 20.5 nautical miles off the Indian coast when the marines fired at the fishermen from Kerala who were aboard the boat 'St Antony'.

The charge sheet listed vital exhibits like Voyage Data Recorder (DR), six Beretta guns, two mini-light machine guns, 1690 bullets and the deck-log of the ship, both in Italian and English and GPS, seized from the vessel.

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