Italian marines case: Kerala CM Chandy says Massimiliano Latorre must be brought back to India

NEW DELHI: Kerala CM Oommen Chandy on Wednesday opposed the Italian Senate’s defence committee on its comment that Italian marine Massimiliano Latorre will not return to India. He is one of two marines accused of killing fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 15, 2012.

“The Italian marines committed a crime on Indian land and they are liable to obey the Indian law. Today itself, the Kerala government will urge PM Modi to bring back the marine to India”, said Chandy.

PTI had reported on Tuesday that Massimiliano Latorre, one of the two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen in 2012 off the Kerala coast, will not return to India, according to the Head of Italian Senate’s defence committee.

Latorre was allowed by the Supreme Court in September 2014 to go to Italy initially for four months after he had suffered a brain stroke. His stay there was extended subsequently. “Massimiliano Latorre will not go back to India and work is being done on the possibility of requesting for Salvatore Girone to be able to return to Italy,” Senator Nicola Latorre was quoted as saying by Italy’s ANSA news agency on Tuesday.

Salvatore Girone, the other accused, is still here and Italy has been seeking his return as well. The Supreme Court on July 13 last year had allowed Latorre to stay in Italy for another six months on medical grounds, after the government did not object to his plea. The six- month period ends tomorrow. The matter may come up for hearing in the apex court tomorrow.

The marines, who were on board ship ‘Enrica Lexie’, are accused of killing two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 15, 2012 after mistaking them for pirates. The Supreme Court which was handling the case suspended the court proceedings relating to the trial of two marines in August last year following an order to this effect by International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) which was approached by Italy for international arbitration.