February 24th, 2012
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‘Enrica Lexie’ to be searched today

enrica-italian-shipThiruvananthapuram: Kerala Police will commence the  search of  the Italian vessel ‘Enrica Lexie’, to seize the firearms allegedly used by the marines to shoot the two fishermen off Kerala coast on the February 15. The court has issued a search warrant for the same. Forensic experts will also cooperate with the search operations. Enrica Lexie, which is anchored in the international waters will be brought to Indian territorial waters at Kochi for the search.

The Judicial Magistrate of Kollam First Class Court I had accepted yesterday, the defence counsels plea seeking the presence of representatives of the Italian government during the ballistic examination of the weapons in the ship. Assistant Public Prosecutor Majula Itty said that the presence of Italian representatives was not objected as it would only lead to greater transparency in the case.

The court however had stated that it need to be informed abot the names of the representatives in advance. Only if the list of those appearing would be handed over would it permit them to be present during the investigation.Though the court accepted the presence of Italian government representatives it rejected the request for a joint probe.

Meanwhile, Judicial Magistrate of Kollam, Doney Thomas Varghese extended the police custody of the two Ialian Marines – Latorre Massimilano and Salvatore Girone – who have been charged with murder of two Indian fishermen by seven days. The three day police custody that was to end on Thursday has been extended to March 1.

The decision was made based on the application moved by the investigation officer CI of Coastal Police, Neendakara. The team had sought more time as the investigation team could not collect evidence and seize weapons as the vessel is anchored 6.5 nautical miles off Fort Kochi.


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