Probe into fishermen's deaths: Who's bluffing?

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In the latest claims and counter-claims related to the Enrica Lexie, the legal counsel of the ship’s owner, Mr V.J. Mathew, said the ship was anchoring off Kochi coast for the past 10 days voluntarily and it had not been detained by the Indian officials and police as was widely believed.

“They said they used a ploy to bring the ship to shore, but actually the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) at Mumbai asked the ship to report to Indian officials if it faced any piracy attacks and hence they decided to report. In fact the Indian officials asked them to come and report at Kochi and that was what happened,” he said.

He said he was unaware of any statement by the Director-General of Shipping that the ship would be detained for another two weeks for investigation.

He also said the ship’s authorities were keen on co-operating with the investigation and did not want to create a bad impression.

“The appeal filed by the victims for compensation is slated to come up in the Kerala High Court on officials and the Italian authorities are contemplating on taking a call on moving the vessel after that,” he said.

Reacting to the contention of Mr Mathew the ship was staying back voluntarily, Kochi City Police Commissioner Mr M.R. Ajith Kumar said that the ship was being detained by the police and the claims on the contrary were not true.

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