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NIA to start probe afresh, to question all foreign witnesses in marines case

NIA to start probe afresh, to question all foreign witnesses in marines case

New Delhi: In the wake of Supreme Court allowing NIA to conduct probe into killing of two Kerala fishermen, the agency will begin the inquiry afresh and question all foreign witnesses present on the Italian ship.

Official sources said NIA, which slapped the stringent Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, 2002 against two Italian marines accused of killing the fishermen, will start its probe from the beginning and quiz all those who were on board Italian vessel 'Enrica Lexie'.

"We will have to question all witnesses in the case. Apart from nine Indians, who were present in the victims' boat, we will also have to question all those who were on board the Italian vessel," a source said.

Since 'Enrica Lexie' left India long ago, the NIA will have to inform the sailors and others through diplomatic channels to join the investigation.

The Supreme Court Friday allowed NIA to probe the case and asked the special court to conduct the trial on a day-to-day basis after the charge sheet is filed.

The two Italian marines – Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone -- were allegedly involved in the killing of the fishermen last year.

Italy had reneged on its assurance to the Supreme Court on sending back the two marines who were allowed to go home to cast votes in elections leading to a diplomatic dust up. But it later gave in after the Indian government and the apex court took a firm stand with New Delhi warning that ties with Rome could be downgraded.


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