Italian marines to be tried in Delhi court

TRIVANDRUM - The two Italian marines who were charged with the murder of two fishermen from Kerala will be tried by a special court in the Indian capital of New Delhi.

By T K Devasia

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Published: Wed 27 Mar 2013, 12:10 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 4:12 PM

The Delhi high court on Monday designated the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of Patiala House Court in Delhi for holding the trial. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Amit Bansal is likely to hear the case, according to reports from Delhi.

A formal notification in this regard will be issued by the federal government after informing the Supreme Court, which will hear the case next on April 2. The Kerala government wanted the trial to be held in the state.

However, the federal government did not consider the plea and approached the Delhi high court on March 23 with a plea to set up the special court Delhi in accordance with the Supreme Court directive of January 18.

The Kerala plea was not considered by the federal government as Italy did not want the trial to be held in the state. Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Staffan de Mistura had blamed the political situation in Kerala behind the tough stance adopted by the federal government in the case.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had sought the trial in the state to avoid frequent travel by witnesses and the prosecution to Delhi and the difficulties in getting the entire case documents translated into English or Hindi.

Legal experts say Kerala may be able to advance these arguments in the Supreme Court during the next hearing. The apex court in its January 18 order had not specified place for setting up the special court. There was no immediate response from the state government.

The trial in the case was stayed by the high court after it was committed in the Quilon Sessions Court. The chargesheet filed in the court by the Kerala police accused the two marines of shooting to death the fishermen Jelastine and Ajesh Binki off Aleppey coast on February 15 last year without any provocation.

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