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Italian Marines released on bail

PTI 03 Jun 2012, 6:54:27 IST
Kochi/Kollam, June 3: After 105 days in custody, the two Italian marines, arrested for allegedly gunning down two Indian fishermen off Kerala waters, were today released on bail as a court in Kollam posted their trial to June 18.

Latore Massimilliano and Salvatore Girone walked out of the Borstal prison here around 9.30 pm after they fulfilled the stringent bail conditions of the Kerala High Court, prison authorities said.

Though the Jail authorities received a fax copy of the Kollam magistrate order, the two were released only after the formal release order was furnished.

Italian Consul General in Mumbai Giampalo Cuttillo and other officials were present as the marines were driven off to a five-star hotel at the nearby Wellington Island.

The high court had granted them bail on May 30 on various conditions, including a bond of Rs one crore each with two Indian solvent sureties for the like amount.

It also ordered they stay within 10 km radius of Kochi Police commissioner's office and appear before the Commissioner on all days between 10 am and 11 am and as and when required.

This morning, the two were taken from Kochi to Kollam District and Sessions court and produced before the Sessions Judge P D Rajan, who posted the trial in the case to June 18.

The court has directed the state government to provide a list of interpreters to translate court proceedings into Italian language for the accused before the next sitting.

The marines, arrested from Italian merchant vessel ‘Enrica Lexie' on Feb 19, have been charged with the murder in the case that had sparked a diplomatic row between India and Italy which opposed their trial in India.

The two marines had received a further setback recently when the Kerala High Court refused to quash the FIR filed against them holding that Indian courts had jurisdiction to try them.