SC allows Italy marine to stay home till April 30

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New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed Italian marine Massimilano Latorre — accused along with marine Salvatore Girone of killing two Indian fishermen — to continue staying in Italy till April 30.

Massimilano Latorre is in Italy since September 2014. He was first allowed to go to Italy on September 12, 2014, for four months for treatment, recovery and rehabilitation after he suffered a brain stroke.

He has already been given three extensions for his stay in Italy and fourth one was given on Wednesday.

Lattore, along with fellow marine Salvatore Girone is accused of killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast in February 2012 after allegedly mistaking them for pirates.

Besides extending the stay of Lattore, the apex court bench of Justice Anil R. Dave, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Amitava Roy asked the Centre to tell the court about what happened to arbitration proceedings by Hamburg-based International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on who has the jurisdiction to try the two Italian marines.

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The ITLOS, which was approached for arbitration on the issue, by its August 24, 2015, order, has urged the suspension of all the proceedings and keeping it as it is.

The court in the last hearing of the matter on August 26 was told that the annex seven tribunal of the ITLOS would adjudicate on the question whether India or Italy had the jurisdiction to try marine Massimilano Latorre and Salvatore Girone for killing two Indian fishermen off Kerala coast in February 2012, allegedly mistaking them for pirates.

The marines and the Italian government have challenged the continuation of NIA as an investigating agency, contending that since the Indian government has decided not to invoke the provisions of the anti-piracy Suppression of Unlawful Act against the safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Law (SUA), the jurisdiction of the NIA as an investigating agency too is ousted.

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The government on February 24, 2014, informed the court it was not invoking the anti-piracy ‘Suppression of Unlawful Act against the safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Law (SUA)’ against Latorre and Girone.

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