SC allows 2nd Italian marine to return home

Stay subject to tribunal verdict

SC allows 2nd Italian marine to return home
The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed Salvatore Girone, one of the two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen off Kerala coast in 2012, to return home.

A vacation bench of Justices Prafulla C Pant and D Y Chandrachud relaxed bail conditions of the naval officer who has been staying in the Italian embassy here.

Girone can stay in Italy till the International Arbitral Tribunal decides on the question of jurisdiction of India and Italy over the incident involving ship Enrica Lexie.

The court pronounced its order while acting on an application by the Republic of Italy and supported by the Union government.

Another accused marine, Massimiliano Latorre, has already been granted permission to go back to Italy on health grounds.

In its order, the apex court, however, directed the Italian ambassador to file an undertaking that Girone would be sent back to India within one month of the decision of the tribunal in India’s favour.

The court also directed the marine to give an undertaking that he would remain under the authority of the Supreme Court even after returning to Italy.

Among other conditions, the bench said Girone should surrender his passport to the Italian authorities on his departure from India and he would not leave Italy without permission from the apex court.

“Sergeant Girone shall report to an identified police station in Italy on the first Wednesday of every month, which should be reported to the Indian Embassy in Rome...Girone shall not directly or indirectly contact, influence or tutor any witnesses in the case, including those based in Italy, and should not attempt to destruct or destroy evidence in any manner. In the event of breach of any of the conditions, either cumulatively or independently, the bail granted shall stand cancelled,” the court said.

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha submitted that the Union government supported the application filed by Italy on humanitarian grounds and if the marine was ready to comply with the conditions imposed by the court.

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