Italian marines create ruckus; Kerala CM says they will be treated as per Indian law

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Two Italian marines, remanded in judicial custody in connection with the killing of two Indian fishermen, created a ruckus at the Central Prison but the state government on Tuesday made it clear they would be treated according to Indian laws and court orders.

The marines initially resisted orders of the authorities to occupy the room identified for them when they were brought to the Central Prison here from Kollam after the court there remanded them for another 14 days, prison sources said. As the stand-off between the jail authorities and the marines, Latore Massimilano and Salvatore Girone, persisted for a couple of hours, Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Steffan de Mistura turned up to intervene and talked to the marines.

The prison authorities made it clear to the Italians that they have no choice other than to obey the court order. After a stern warning from prison officials, the marines yielded and went to the room set apart for them.

"There is no question of taking any argument that the law is not applicable to them," Chandy told reporters after a cabinet meeting here, when asked about the incident.

He said the court had directed the jail authorities to provide them Italian food and adequate medical facilities which would be adhered to. Asked whether the marines, who allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen from their vessel 'Enrica Lexie', would be housed outside the prison, he said the government had no role in the matter.

"It is up to the Director General of Police and ADGP in charge of prisons to take an appropriate decision," he said.

If the marines wanted additional facilities, they should obtain the permission of the court, Chandy said. According to jail officials, they were given Italian food as instructed by the court. The two marines have been charged with murder for allegedly gunning down the two fishermen on February 15 after suspecting them to be pirates.

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