Supreme Court closes 2012 fishermen murder case against two Italian Marines

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More than nine years after two Italian Marines killed two fishermen off the coast in Kerala, the Supreme Court on Tuesday closed all proceedings in connection with murder case they faced in India.

A Bench of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice MR Shah said the compensation of Rs 10 crore paid by the Italian government over and above payments already made was adequate.

The compensation amount of Rs 10 crore will be given to kin of two deceased fishermen — Rs 4 cr each — and the owner of the boat St Antony will get Rs 2 crore, it added.

Now Italy must immediately start criminal proceedings against the two marines Massimilano Latorre and Salvatore Gironde under its jurisdiction, it said.

The case details along with evidence will be provided by the Centre and the Kerala governments to Italy, it said.

The order follows the Centre’s decision to accept the award of an arbitration tribunal under UNCLOS which said Italy had the jurisdiction to prosecute the marines.

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“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,” the top court said using its powers under Article 142.

The Supreme Court had in 2014 stayed the criminal proceedings against the two Italian marines before a Special Court at Kollam in Kerala.

The Hague-based tribunal on July 2 last year ruled that the two marines should be tried in Italy and asked the Indian authorities to close the criminal case against them.

A day after an International tribunal ruled that India didn’t have jurisdiction to try two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen in Kerala, the Centre had on July 3, 2020 moved the Supreme Court seeking disposal of the case pending before it.