Italy moves Supreme Court in marine case

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The Italian government has moved the Supreme Court seeking quashing of the criminal proceedings against its two marines charged with the murder of two Indian fishermen off Kerala coast this February.

The petition filed by the Italian government and its two marines has challenged the May 29 order of the Kerala High Court, which had held that the duo were liable to be tried under the jurisdiction of the Indian courts.

The petitioners have also sought a stay on all further criminal proceedings in the case pending before a Kollam court contending that Kerala Police had no authority to conduct the probe and courts in India have no jurisdiction as the incident occurred outside the Indian territorial waters.

The Italian government is being represented by Titus & Co, Advocates and senior advocate Harish Salve, who has settled the petition, will argue the matter in the apex court.

The case pertains to the killings of two Indian fishermen by Italian naval officers, Chief Sargeant Massimilano Lattore and Sargeant Salvatore Girone, off Kerala coast in February.

Fearing pirate attack, the two officers on board Enrica Lexie,' had allegedly fired at the vessel off Kerala coast, killing the two fishermen. The marines, who were arrested by the Kerala police, are currently out on bail.

The Italian government has contended that Military Court in Rome has the jurisdiction to prosecute the accused officers as it is the Republic of Italy and its institutions (military and judicial) have the authority to deal with any inquiry and consequential legal proceedings against them.

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