Italian marines case: Supreme Court says special apex court will try them

New Delhi, Jan 18 (ANI): In a major setback to two Italian marines who have been accused of killing two Kerala fishermen in February last year, the Supreme Court on Friday said both will be tried by a special apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir.

Responding to a petition filed by the two Italian marines, the apex court maintained that the Kerala Government and its police force have no jurisdiction to try them as the incident took place in international waters.

The apex court said the case comes under the jurisdiction of the Government of India and only it can prosecute the two Italian nationals.

The apex court, however, said that a special court must be set up under the Chief Justice of India to prosecute them.

In their petitions, the marines argued that Kerala Police have no jurisdiction to register a case against them, as the incident took place in international waters.

The marines-Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone-are currently out on bail and staying in Kollam, Kerala.

On December 22, the marines had left for Rome after the Kerala High Court permitted them to go for Christmas for two weeks. They came back on January 4 and surrendered their passports before a trial court in Kollam within hours of returning to India.

The marines were arrested on February 19 last for shooting to death two Indian fishermen-Ajesh Binki (25) and Jelestine (45) from onboard merchant vessel "Enrica Lexie" off Alapuzha coast, "mistaking" them for Somali pirates. (ANI)

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