In a fresh twist to the Italian marines’ saga, the Italian government has made a fresh plea in the Supreme Court for modification of bail conditions of Marine Massimiliano Latorre. This has been done to enable him remain in Italy till an international tribunal decides on which country has the right to try the case of killing of Indian fishermen.
The apex court agreed to hear on September 20 the plea in which Latorre has sought imposition of same bail conditions that were made applicable to Marine Salvatore Girone, his co-accused in killing of two fishermen off the Kerala coast in 2012.
A Bench comprising Justice AR Dave and Justice L Nageswara Rao decided to hear the plea filed by Italy on behalf of Latorre after a batch of senior lawyers, including KTS Tulsi, mentioned the matter and sought an urgent hearing on the ground that an earlier apex court order in the matter was valid till September 30 this year.
“Modify the bail conditions of chief master sergeant Massimiliano Latorre in the same terms as those prescribed for sergeant major Salvator Girone by this court’s order dated May 26 this year… to enable Latorre to remain in Italy until a final decision by the Annex VIII Arbitral Tribunal on the merits of the case that finds India may exercise jurisdiction over him in respect of the Enrica Lexie incident,” the plea said.
While relaxing Girone’s bail conditions on May 26, the apex court had allowed him to go to his country till the jurisdictional issue between India and Italy was decided in an international tribunal.
The apex court had imposed four conditions on Girone, including that he has to report to 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.
The marines, who were on board ship ‘Enrica Lexie’, are accused of killing two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 15, 2012.
The complaint against the marines was lodged by Freddy, the owner of 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.