Italian vessel can sail after furnishing bond

Italian vessel can sail after furnishing bond

Italian vessel can sail after furnishing bond

The Italian cargo ship Enrica Lexie, from which two marines had opened fire killing two Indian fishermen, will be permitted to sail after its owners furnish a bond of Rs.3 crore and meet other conditions, the Kerala High Court ruled Thursday.

Among the conditions are that the ship's captain, as also the vessel, should be brought to Kerala for any further investigations that might be required.

On Wednesday, counsel for the ship's owners, Dolphin Tankers, told the court that the company was incurring huge expenditure with the ship docked off Kochi and it should be allowed to leave as they were fully cooperating with the investigation.

Two fishermen, Ajesh Binki, 25, and Gelastine, 45, were apparently  mistaken as pirates and shot dead by marines aboard the vessel Feb 15, off Alappuzha.

The marines, Latorre Massimillano and Salvatore Girone, were picked up from the vessel and sent to jail Feb 20 on murder charges by a court in Kollam. They are lodged in the Central Prison in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.

Earlier Thursday, Italian Defence Minister Giampaolo Di Paola visited the jail and met the marines.

The minister later called on Chief Minister Oommen Chandy along with a large Italian delegation.

Chandy was assisted at the meeting by top police officers among others and after a 15-minute interaction with the Italian delegation, he and Paola engaged in a one-to-one interaction.

"We were asked to leave because the two of them wanted to discuss some confidential matters," a top police officer said.

A press release issued by Chandy's office said the state government informed the visiting minister that all the international conventions were being adhered to. The state government would also examine if any more conditions need to be fulfilled as per international norms.