Kerala govt grants bail to two Italian marines

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In a respite for the two Italian marines charged with shooting down of two Indian fishermen, the Kerala High Court on Wednesday granted them bail with stringent conditions.

The court order comes a day after it turned down Italy's plea for quashing an FIR against the marines, Latore Massimilliano and Salvatore Girone, holding that they were liable to penal jurisdiction of Indian courts.

Granting them bail, Justice N.K. Balakrishnan said the two accused should execute a bond for Rs one crore each besides two Indian sureties for the like amount.

After release from jail, they shall stay in a building within a distance of 10 km from the office of the Kochi city Police Commissioner, appear before the Commissioner on all days between 10am and 11am and as and when required.

The marines should also furnish their mobile numbers if any, the court said, adding, they should not leave the territorial limits of the Commissioner's office.

The two sureties should also not leave the state. The magistrate shall ensure the identity of the sureties by insisting on production of photo identity card, the Court said.

The marines were also asked to surrender their passport before the Kollam Magistrate Court.

Justice Balakrishnan made it clear that the accused should be released on bail on production of valid travel document, visa having been endorsed by a foreign registration officer.

The government has been directed to ensure abundant caution and inform the seaport or other authorities to prevent the accused from leaving the country.

The marines, who were arrested from the merchant vessel 'Enrica Lexie' on February 19 last from which they fired at the fishermen off Kerala coast on February 15, are at present lodged at the Borstal prison here.

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