The Supreme Court on Thursday relaxed the bail conditions of Salvatore Girone, one of the two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen off Kerala coast in 2012, and allowed him to go to his country till an International Arbitral Tribunal decides the jurisdictional issue between India and Italy.
Chief Master Sergeant Massimiliano Latorre and Sergeant Major Girone, accused of killing in 2012 two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast, were then serving as security personnel on an Italian oil tanker MT Enrica Lexie crossing the Indian Ocean.
Girone has been living in the Italian embassy in New Delhi while Latorre is already in Italy on health grounds and his stay there was recently extended by the apex court till September 30 this year.
An apex court vacation bench of Justice Prafulla C Pant and Justice DY Chandrachud modified the bail condition paving the way for Girone`s return to Italy on an application by the Italian government backed by India.
During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) PS Narasimha said that Centre has no objection to the application moved by Girone if he complies with the conditions imposed by the apex court. “We support the application on humanitarian grounds subject to his compliance with the conditions imposed by the court,” the ASG said.
Girone, who presently is in the custody of the apex court and residing in Italian embassy here, had filed the application through lawyer Jagjit Singh Chhabra, also seeking a direction that Ministry of Home Affairs and the Foreigners Regional Registration Office be asked to provide him with the “necessary residential permit and exit visa”.
Kerala’s new chief minister, Pinarayi Vijayan of the Left has objected to Mr Girone being allowed to leave India, saying the Centre’s stand is unacceptable. “An accused who committed the crime here must be tried here. The Centre has been up to foul play in the Italian marines case from the beginning,” Mr Vijayan alleged.
Mr. Girone’s colleague Massimiliano Latorre left India in 2014 for medical treatment after a stroke and was allowed by the Supreme Court recently to stay in Italy till the end of September.