February 20th, 2012
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Italian Marines produced before court today

italian-crewKochi: The two Italian Marines who alleged to have shot dead two Indian fishermen off the Kerala cost will be produced before a local magistrate this afternoon. Police arrested Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone late last night after detailed interrogation.

The marines were picked up from the Italian vessel Enrica Lexie Umberto Vitelli last night after detailed interrogation in Kochi. They were housed at the CISF guest house. The duo is part of the six-member security team of the oil tanker Merchant Vessel Enrica Lexie. Murder charges under Section 302 of the Indian penal Code  has been registered against them.

Meanwhile, Cochin Port sources said the Italian vessel would be moved to the outer anchorage within the port limits. The ship is presently inside the oil terminal due to which other oil tankers of various companies are finding it difficult to discharge cargo. Cochin Port and Coast Guard would monitor the movement of the Italian ship.

The deceased Valentine Jalastine and Ajeesh Binki were among the nine fishermen who set out to sea.They were allegedly killed by the Marines of the ship, who fired at their boat on February 15. The Italian vessel, which was on its way to Egypt from Singapore was carrying 25 crew members, including 19 Indians and six armed security personnels from the Italian Navy onboard. According to sources the Naval personnel who shot at the fishermen are the riflemen of San Marco Battalion of Italian Navy. They claim that the fishermen tried to attack them and that is when they retaliated with fire. Indian authorities believe that the vessel did not follow the proper practices for the action to be taken in the face of an imminent pirate attack.

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