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Italian marines case: SC allows substitution of sureties for Massimiliano Latorre

Latorre has been granted the extensions for his stay. The apex court had also asked the Italian Embassy here to give the undertaking to abide by the conditions under which Latorre was allowed to leave India.

Reported by: PTI, New Delhi [ Updated: June 01, 2018 20:59 IST ]
Latorre had to undergo a heart surgery after which the top
Image Source : PTI

Latorre had to undergo a heart surgery after which the top court had granted him extension of his stay in his native country

The Supreme Court today allowed Massimiliano Latorre, one of the two Italian marines accused of killing an Indian fishermen duo off the Kerala coast in 2012, to substitute those persons who had stood as his sureties at the time of grant of bail in the case. 

In his plea, Latorre said that Jyothikumar and Rajmohan had given sureties and bank guarantees before a court at the time of bail to him and now they want to be discharged. 

Latorre, who had also suffered a brain stroke on August 31, 2014, was first granted bail and allowed by the apex court on September 12, 2014 to go to Italy for four months and after that, extensions for his stay have been granted to him. 

In Italy, Latorre had to undergo a heart surgery after which the top court had granted him extension of his stay in his native country. 

A vacation bench of justices L Nageswara Rao and M M Shantanagoudar was told by Latorre that these two sureties will be replaced by Vishal Talwar and Vikas Talwar. 

"The existing bank guarantees will continue for two weeks. In the meanwhile, the bank guarantees be given by Vishal Talwar and Vikas Talwar. After the bank guarantees are given by them, the bank guarantee given by Jyothikumar and Rajmohan will be discharged," the bench said while disposing of Latorre's plea. 

On September 28, 2016, the apex court had allowed Latorre to remain in his country till the international arbitral tribunal decided the jurisdictional issue. 

The apex court had said all the conditions, which were imposed on the other marine, Salvatore Girone, would be applicable on Latorre as well. 

The court had asked the Centre to file a report every three months about the progress of case at the international arbitral tribunal, which would take a decision on which country had the right to try the case. 

On May 26, 2016, Girone was also granted bail and allowed by the top court to go to his country till the jurisdictional issue was decided. 

It had imposed four conditions including that Girone has to report to a police station in Italy on first Wednesday of every month and the Italian authorities have to inform the Indian Embassy in Rome about it. 

The second condition was that he will not tamper with any evidence, nor influence any witness in the case. 

The third condition was that Girone will give an undertaking that he will remain under the jurisdiction of Supreme Court and lastly, if found violating any of these conditions, his bail will be cancelled, the court had said. 

The marines, who were aboard the Italian-flagged commercial oil tanker 'Enrica Lexie', are accused of killing two Indian fishermen off Kerala coast on February 15, 2012. 

The complaint against the marines was lodged by Freddy, the owner of fishing boat 'St Antony' in which the two Kerala fishermen were killed when the marines opened fire on them allegedly under the misconception that they were pirates. 

The top court was earlier informed by Centre that the international arbitral proceedings would be completed by December 2018 before International Tribunal for Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Germany. 

The apex court had also asked the Italian Embassy here to give an undertaking to abide by the conditions under which Latorre was allowed to leave India. 

The court had earlier stayed all criminal proceedings, including the trial of the two marines. 

While allowing the joint request of India and Italy, the apex court had said the proceedings would remain stalled till the jurisdictional issue about which country has the right to conduct trial was decided through international arbitration. 

The apex court had on August 26, 2015 suspended all court proceedings here in pursuance of an interim order of the ITLOS asking India to maintain "status quo" in the case. 

The Indian government had then said a five-member tribunal (ITLOS Annex VII arbitral tribunal) would be set up, probably to decide the issue of jurisdiction.

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