HC tears into Italian plea in shooting case
The Kerala high court on Thursday punched holes in Italy's latest legal bid to persuade India to hand over its marines charged with the murder of two fishermen.
Justice PS Gopinathan found "serious defects" in consul general Giampaolo Cutillo's petition, which stated Italy had initiated criminal proceedings against the two marines under a law that could lead to a prison term of not less than 21 years.
The court said it would look into the petition - seeking quashing of the FIR against the marines - only after the "defects" were "cured". The court gave a day for correction of the shortcomings.
Justice Gopinathan said in open court the Italian government should not have an impression that the Indian judiciary was so loose that anyone could file a plea before courts.
The judge even expressed doubts over whether the signature of one of the accused in the affidavit produced before the court was genuine.
A communication filed in the court by counsel for Italian government and the marines stated that according to Article 575 of Italian penal code, whoever caused death of a person was punishable with a prison term of not less than 21 years.
Meanwhile, a Kollam court extended the police custody of the marines, Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Gironi, till March 5.
The two naval guards of Italian ship Enrica Lexie are in custody since February 20. Police have charged them with shooting fishermen Ajesh Binki, 25, and Valentine Jalastine, 45, on February 15.
India maintains the marines must face trial as per Indian law. Italy contends the marines should be tried at home.