International Nation

Italy will prosecute marines for killing two Indian fishermen, SC to close proceedings

New Delhi: The Supreme Court ruled that the proceedings against the two Italian Marines will be closed and Italian government will prosecute them as per the ruling by an international tribunal. The two marines on board the MV Enrica Lexie — an Italian flagged oil tanker — are accused of killing two Indian fishermen who were on a fishing vessel in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in February 2012.

Shortly after the incident, the Indian Coast Guard intercepted Enrica Lexie and detained the two Italian marines— Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre.

A vacation bench comprising justices Indira Banerjee and M R Shah said the case against the marines for the offences would be now pursued by Italy in referrence to the international arbitral award and the terms of the agreement among India, Italy and the Kerala government.

Further, the apex court said that it will pass an order on June 15 regarding the disbursal of the Rs 10 crore compensation paid by the Italian government to the family of the fishermen.

Appearing for the Centre, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that Republic of Italy has deposited Rs 10 crore with it over and above the ex-gratia paid earlier and the same has been deposited by the Union Ministry of External Affairs with the apex court’s registry as directed.

“There was an award by International Tribunal, which we as a Nation have accepted. The agreement is among Republic of Italy, India and the Kerala government,” the law officer said,

“Now, the question of apportionment of the compensation amount remains and it can be left to the Kerala Government. The dispute before the international tribunal was as to which country, Italy or India, has the jurisdiction to prosecute the marines and it was decided that both the nations have the ‘concurrent jurisdiction'”, Mehta said.

The compensation is a mutually agreed amount between India and Italy in terms of the award by an international tribunal.

The Supreme Court had earlier said that Rs 4 crore each out of the compensation will go to the next of kin of the two fishermen while Rs 2 crore will be given to the owner of the fishing vessel in which they were travelling.

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