Italian marines case: SC allows Massimiliano Latorre to stay in Italy

The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed Italian marine Massimiliano Latorre, accused of killing Indian fishermen, to remain in Italy till jurisdiction issue is decided.

His grant of stay in Italy is coming to an end on 30 September, and he has sought an extension on the basis of parity with Sergeant Salvatore Girone.

ANI also reported that till the disposal of both marines’ plea in the arbitration court, Girone will stay in Italy. The Supreme Court has also directed the Centre to submit reports every three months about the progress of the jurisdiction case at international tribunal.

In April, the Centre had told the court that international arbitration proceedings in the matter would be completed by December 2018.

"End of 2018 is when the award will come," Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar had told the bench, saying that India had not agreed for the conclusion of proceedings in 2019.

File image of Italian marine Latorre. Reuters

File image of Italian marine Latorre. Reuters

The bench, headed by Justice AR Dave, had sought the Centre's proper response by 28 September on Italy's plea in the apex court for modification of bail conditions of Latorre to enable him to stay in Italy till an international tribunal decides which country has the right to try the case, PTI reported.

The Centre was of the view that the same bail conditions be imposed on Latorre as was done by the apex court in relation to Girone.

Girone was allowed to go home by the Supreme Court in May, 2016 by the apex court. His request to leave India was supported by the government on "humanitarian grounds".

He was, however, asked to file an affidavit “accepting and recognising that he remains and shall, even upon his departure from India, continue to remain under the authority of the Supreme Court of India.”

There were four conditions imposed on him, which included reporting to a police station in Italy on first Wednesday of every month and the Italian authorities have to inform the Indian Embassy in Rome about it.

The second condition was that he will not tamper with any evidence, nor influence any witness in the case. The third condition was that Girone will give an undertaking that he will remain under the jurisdiction of Supreme Court and lastly, if found violating any of the conditions, his bail will be cancelled, the court had said.

Latorre and Girone are facing a trial in India for allegedly killing two fishermen off the coast of Kerala in February 2012. In their defence, Italy said that the marines were guarding an oil tanker and mistook the fishermen for pirates.

The complaint against the marines was lodged by Freddy, the owner of the fishing boat 'St Antony' in which the two Indian fishermen were killed when the marines opened fire on them allegedly under the misconception that they were pirates.

The Hindu reported that Latorre had told the court that he preferred to remain home till a final decision is made on which country has the jurisdiction to try him and Girone.

Latorre was allowed to return to Italy after suffering from a brain stroke on 31 August, 2014. Since then, the Supreme Court has allowed requests of extension of his stay.

With inputs from PTI.


Updated Date: Sep 28, 2016 16:47 PM

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