Italian vessel pays Rs 3 crore guarantee

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The agent of the Italian vessel ‘Enrica Lexie’ on Tuesday furnished Rs 3.10 crore as bank guarantee before the court, as directed by a division bench of Kerala high court last week.

Advocate V.J. Mathew gave the demand draft of Rs 3.10 crore to the High Court registrar on behalf of the vessel’s agent.

After verifying documents, the registrar-general issued a release document for the vessel. ‘Enrica Lexie’ has been detained at Kochi port since February 15, when Italian security officials on board allegedly took Indian fishermen to be pirates and opened fire, leaving two of them dead.

Meanwhile, the court on Tuesday adjourned a plea by the Italian marines seeking to quash the FIR registered against them for their alleged role in the killings. Justice P.S. Gopinathan posted the case to Friday.

The petition seeking to quash the FIR was filed by Italian Consul General Giampaolo Cutillio and the two accused: Latorre Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone.

Concluding his arguments, petitioner’s counsel Mr Suhail Dutt contended that that the marine members were on duty to protect the vessel from pirates.

The offence, he argued, did not take place in Indian territorial waters, or on board an Indian vessel. He reiterated that the case registered against them is illegal.

Mr Dutt also pointed out an incident of Italian killed during the Second World War in which the culprits, German nationals, were sent back to Germany for trial.

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