Pardon may help marines in Italy

The relatives of the two fishermen who signed the agreement for the Rs 2 crore compensation have also made it clear that they have pardoned the two marines responsible for the shooting.

They also did not wish to prosecute the marines lodged at Poojappura central prison as per the first information report registered by the state police.

Such a statement may help the marines in the case registered by the Republic of Italy in Rome. However, experts point out that as per the current FIR registered, the Italians cannot go scot-free under the laws here.

According to law experts, Italian rules allow the accused in murder cases to prove their innocence before going ahead with the trial.

So the document signed by the victims will prove handy to the marines as the duo can walk free from an Italian court if the Indian apex court rules that courts here do not have the jurisdiction in the matter.

“In such an eventuality, that is the apex court quashes the FIR, the document signed by the victims will have some evidential value to prove the innocence of the marines before courts in Italy,” advocate Kaleeswaram Raj pointed out.

Earlier, the Italian government had submitted that a case had been registered in Italy against two of its marines, Latorre Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone of the San Marco Regiment, attached to the Military Protection Detachment, and now in the state police’s custody for the killing of two fishermen.

“The case had been registered in accordance with Article 575 (murder) of Italian Penal Code. As per the act whoever causes the death of a man is punished with imprisonment for less than 21 years.

Since the marines are part of the Italian navy they are entitled to immunity abroad and should be tried in their home country,” Italians had argued.

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