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SC to hear Italian marine’s plea for extension of stay

SC to hear Italian marine’s plea for extension of stay

New Delhi, Apr 7: Italian Marine Massimiliano Latorre, who along with a colleague is accused of killing Indian fishermen in 2012, today moved the Supreme Court seeking extension of his stay in Italy on medical grounds.

A bench comprising justices A R Dave and Kurian Joseph fixed the plea of Latorre for hearing on April 9.

Latorre, who had undergone a cardiac surgery in Italy in January this year, has sought the extension saying that recently he had developed certain medical complications and the court be pleased to extend his stay on this ground.

On January 14, the apex court had granted three months extension to Latorre to stay in his country on medical grounds after the Centre said there was no objection on his plea on humanitarian ground.

The bench had permitted the plea of the marine after Italian ambassador gave an identical undertaking which was given by him on September 12, 2014, when Latorre was allowed to go to his country last year for four months for medical treatment after he suffered a stroke here on August 31.

The apex court had on September 12 last year allowed Latorre to travel to his country while taking on record an “unequivocal” and “unambiguous” undertaking by Latorre regarding the dates of departure and arrival back to India.

Earlier, a bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu had referred the matter to another bench, saying it was not proper for it to take up the application of the marine, seeking extension of stay on health grounds, as it had earlier expressed some reservations and made certain observations on a similar plea.

Latorre, one of the two Italian marines facing murder charges in the fishermen killing case had, on January 7, moved the apex court seeking extension of his stay in Italy on the ground that he had undergone a heart surgery on January 5.

The case against marines pertains to the killing of two Indian fishermen allegedly by Latorre and Salvatore Girone on board ship ‘Enrica Lexie’ off Kerala coast on February 15, 2012.

The bench had earlier refused to grant the extension to Latorre and had also rejected the plea of co-accused Girone, who had sought the apex court’s nod to go to Italy to celebrate Christmas, saying they cannot get such “leeway”.

The complaint was lodged by Freddy, the owner of the fishing boat ‘St Antony’, in which the two Indian fishermen were killed when the marines started firing on them allegedly under the misconception that they were pirates.

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