Two separate teams of Indian and Italian experts on Saturday reached the Italian ship Enrica Lexie to examine the weapons allegedly used by its security guards to shoot dead two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast, police said.
Travelling on boats, the teams reached the vessel berthed on outer sea.
The first team comprised Kerala Police officials, forensic and ballistic experts and the second team consisted of Italian officials, including two majors from Italy who reached here early Saturday.
The two Italian majors are ballistic experts and have a good knowledge of weapons.
However, the Kerala Police investigation team led by Kochi City Police Commissioner MR Ajith Kumar had clearly indicated that this was no joint inspection though the Italian expert presence would be there.
A court in Kollam on Thursday had extended the police custody of Italian Marines Latorre Massimillano and Salvatore Girone, detailed on the ship as its security guards, after police told the judge they needed more time to interrogate them. The next hearing will be Feb 28.
Italy has maintained that the firing incident took place in international waters and should be tried according to international law. New Delhi has said since the incident involved an attack on an Indian vessel, the accused should be tried under the Indian Penal Code.
The shooting took place Feb 15 when the Italian security officials mistook the Indian fishermen for pirates and allegedly shot them dead in their own boat.