Italian marines back home

Italian marines back home

Two Italian mar­ines facing trial for shooting dead two Indian fishermen off the Kollam coast left for Italy in a special aircraft sent by their government from Kochi International Airport at 5 am on Saturday to join their families for Christmas.

After landing in Rome, the Italian marines said: “Finally we’re breathing the air of home.”
“I’m finding it difficult to believe it’s true,” Massimiliano Latore said after the pair landed at Rome’s Ciampino military airport.

Latore and Salvatore Girone were welcomed back by their families, who were visibly emotional as they rushed to the plane to greet them.

A nine-member team of senior Italian foreign and defence personnel arrived from Italy to take them, said sources.

Accompanied by Italian embassy staff, marines Latore Massimilliano and Salvatore Girone reached the airport at 6 pm on Friday amid a big posse of police in view of the protest in front of the airport by DYFI, the youth wing of the CPM. The aircraft landed at the airport at 4 pm on Friday, but the cumbersome process of issuing clearance by the External Affairs Ministry delayed the departure of the flight. 

On Friday, the Kollam Additional Sessions Court released the marines’ passport after the two submitted an unconditional joint undertaking to return to Kerala by January 10 as directed by the High Court.

The marines also furnished a bank guarantee for Rs 6 crore at the trial court as directed by the High Court. The bank guarantee has been issued by the Kollam branch of Dhanalakshmi Bank where Italy remitted euro worth Rs 6 crore.

The Italian ambassador to India and Italian consular general also jointly submitted before the sessions court that the marines’ places of stay in Italy, their movements and engagements would be monitored by them. The court would be informed of all developments. They also assured the court that the addresses of the marines in Italy and their telephone numbers would be given to Kochi and Kollam city police commissioners. 

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