HindustanTimes Thu,18 Dec 2014

After SC nod, NIA to begin probe in Italian marines case

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 26, 2013
First Published: 11:03 IST(26/4/2013) | Last Updated: 21:28 IST(26/4/2013)

With the Supreme Court on Friday giving go ahead to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) toprobe the killing of two Kerala fishermen, the agency will soon summon the two accused Italian marines - Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone for the first round of questioning.

The agency is not likely to arrest the two accused as there is little likelihood their escaping from India.

Besides summoning of the two marines, the agency also plans to questions all witnesses -Indians as well as Italians- in the case again to get a clear picture of what exactly happened.

The two marines onboard Italian merchant vessel Enrica Lexie are accused of killing two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 15, 2012.

The agency has got voluminous documents of the case from Kerala police that initially investigated the matter and filed a chargesheet as well.

The NIA FIR in the case is based on the chargesheet filed by the Kerala police.

According to NIA sources, the FIR, in which the agency has invoked a special maritime law -Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, 2002 - is only the starting point of the investigation.

The special law provides for only death sentence if charges are proved against the accused.

But the NIA officials have also made it clear that they decide on the charges against the two marines only after completion of the probe.

The two accused marines are in the custody of the Supreme Court at the moment.

They are staying in the Italian embassy here and have been asked to report at Chanakyapuri police station every week.


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