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Italian marines file petition against Indian police

Accused in murder challenge terrorism authorities in New Delhi

07 March, 13:58
Italian marines file petition against Indian police (updates previous) (ANSA) - New Delhi, March 7 - Two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen two years ago filed a petition against that country's NIA anti-terrorism police having authority to probe the case, judicial sources told ANSA on Friday. Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who have been held in India without charges since the February 2012 incident, lodged the protest with the Indian supreme court Thursday.

The 50-page document argues that allowing the NIA anti-terror authorities to probe the case is not valid because their jurisdiction only extends to certain laws, such as suppression of piracy, which do not apply to the Italian sailors.

The document was prepared by the Italian legal team that has worked with the two marines for almost two years.

India's Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati has already told India's supreme court that he favoured dropping the anti-terrorism laws in this case - but has asked the courts to approve the NIA leading the investigation.

The court adjourned the case again Friday without setting the next hearing date.

Latorre and Girone are accused of allegedly killing fishermen Valentine (aka Gelastine) and Ajesh Binki after reputedly opening fire on their fishing trawler while guarding the privately owned Italian-flagged oil-tanker MT Enrica Lexie off the coast of Kerala.

The two marines have been living and working at the Italian embassy in India pending charges.