Italy minister expresses confidence in India's Supreme Court

Italy minister expresses confidence in India's Supreme Court

Italian Defence Minister Giampaolo Di Paola said here Sunday that he respects the Indian Supreme Court and expects that the case of the two Marines who shot two Indian fishermen dead in February would be sorted.

Di Paola, a highly decorated retired naval admiral, arrived here along with a team of officials Saturday night to meet the two Italian Marines currently out on bail.
This is the second time Di Paola has met the Marines since the shooting at sea.

The Italian defence minister had in March this year met the two Marines in the Central Prison in the capital city.

"They wish to celebrate Christmas with their parents and families, and we wish that happens," Di Paola said, expressing confidence that the whole issue would be resolved in keeping with international law.

On Friday, the two Marines had submitted a petition to the Kerala High Court that their bail conditions should be relaxed and they should be allowed to return to Italy to celebrate Christmas. The petition is expected to come up for hearing in court Tuesday.

The apex court is hearing a petition that this case should be heard based on international law, as the shooting occurred beyond India's waters.

Latorre Massimillano and Salvatore Girone, the two Marines, were granted bail on May 30. They have sought a relaxation in bail conditions which specify that they must submit their travel documents and not leave the area that falls within the Kochi police commissioner's jurisdiction.

They are allowed to travel to Kollam, where their case is being heard.

Police had earlier told the court that they would oppose any relaxation in the bail conditions because there was no guarantee they would return.

Massimillano and Girone, who are staying in a hotel here, were allegedly involved in the killing of two Indian fishermen, Ajesh Binki and Gelastine, on Feb 15.
The Marines said they mistook the fishermen for pirates and shot them dead off Alappuzha.

The Marines were serving as security crew aboard the Italian cargo vessel Enrica Lexie.

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