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Bye-bye, India: Italian 'killer ship' sails away

Kochi: The Italian oil tanker Enrica Lexie, which had been detained off the Kerala coast in February after two Marines on board shot dead two Indian fishermen, sailed off late on Saturday from Kochi for Colombo after completing all legal formalities, including the execution of a bond for Rs 3 crore.

The ship set sail from the Cochin Port's outer harbour at 11 pm on Saturday, coastal police sources said.

Port authorities permitted the vessel to leave the outer harbour, where it had been berthed for about 80 days, after they received  a fax message from the Kerala High Court Registrar-General permitting the ship to leave Kerala waters and after completion of all other formalities, port sources said.

Earlier, the Registrar-General of the High Court had permitted the release of the vessel after the ship's owner executed a bond for Rs 3 crore and submitted a demand draft for an equal amount.

 Bye-bye, India: Italian killer ship sails away

The Italian ship has sailed away. Image from CNN IBN

Pio Shiano, Managing Director of Dolphin Tankers Ltd, the ship's owner, executed the bond and presented the DD to High Court Registrar-General B Kamal Pasha on Satuday afternoon and secured the release order of the vessel.

Two marines from the vessel Lattore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone, who had allegedly shot dead the two Kerala fishermen Valentine alias Jelestine and Ajesh Binki suspecting them to be pirates, were arrested and have been charged with murder. They are lodged in Thiruvananthapuram Central Jail.

On a petition by Italy and the ship's owner, the Supreme court had on 2 May allowed the release of the vessel after directing them to execute a bond for Rs 3 crore and offering an undertaking that six other marines on the vessel would be brought before Indian courts when required.

Italy maintained that the Kerala government has no locus standi to register any criminal case as the alleged offence ought to be treated under international law and covenants as India is a signatory to the UN Charter.


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Updated Date: May 06, 2012 04:54:13 IST