SC seeks government’s response on other marine’s plea to remain in Italy

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New Delhi, Sep 20 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought the central government’s response on the plea by Italian marine Massimilano Latorre seeking permission to continue to stay in his country – a relief that has already been granted to his colleague Salvatore Girone – in wake of international arbitration.

Both Chief Master Sergeant Latorre and Sergeant Major Girone are accused of killing two fishermen in February 2012 off the Kerala coast allegedly mistaking them to be pirates.

Latorre had moved the top court seeking parity with his colleague Girone who has already returned home on May 26 following the top court’s order.

Giving the government a week’s time to submit its response, the bench of Justice Anil R. Dave, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Amitava Roy said that they would consider Latorre’s plea on September 28.

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Latorre, who is already in Italy on the grounds of his treatment, sees his last extension of time for remain there end on September 30.

Girone was allowed to go back after the Indian government did not object to the Italian government’s plea that he may be allowed to return as international arbitration on the jurisdiction to try both would take some time before their actual trial could commence.

The top court had allowed Girone to return to Italy in the wake of April 29 order of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) asking both India and Italy to cooperate for Girone’s return till arbitration proceedings before it are ongoing.

The international arbitral tribunal has been established under Annex VII of the United Nation Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) for adjudicating on the dispute between India and Italy over their jurisdiction to try the two marines.

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