Criminal Cases Against Italian Marines, In 2012 Shooting, Closed By Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court today closed all criminal cases against two Italian marines who were accused of shooting dead two Indian fishermen off the Kerala cost in 2012.

Saying that Italy should carry out its probe and that India, Italy and Kerala must cooperate, the Supreme Court directed that the compensation of Rs.10 crore given by Italy must be transferred to the Kerala High Court.

The Centre had deposited this money with the Supreme Court Registry.

The Kerala government had told the court that out of Rs. 10 crore, Rs. 4 crore each will to be paid to the two victims’ families and Rs. 2 crore to the owner of the boat which was destroyed.

The Supreme Court asked the Kerala High Court to nominate a judge so that there is no misappropriation in the distribution of the compensation.

“We are satisfied with the compensation and the ex-gratia paid over and above earlier. This is a fit case to close all proceedings in India under Article 142 of the Constitution,” the Supreme Court said today.

In the last hearing, the court had said that the cases would be closed only if the money is deposited with the Supreme Court Registry.

The two Italian marines – Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre – were accused of killing two unarmed Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala on February 15, 2012. The marines had appealed in the Supreme Court against the Kerala High Court’s decision that they could be prosecuted in Kerala.

Last year, the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague had held that India has no jurisdiction to carry out criminal proceedings against the Italian marines and that Italy has jurisdiction to probe the incident. The Tribunal also directed Italy to pay compensation to the victims’ families.

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