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Slain fishermen's families resent Italian Marines' trip home

Slain fishermen's families resent Italian Marines' trip home
Kochi:  The families of the two fishermen who were killed by the Italian Marines in February last and the Left opposition in Kochi expressed distress that the Kerala High Court on Thursday allowed the accused Italians to travel home for Christmas.

The two Marines have been out on bail, but their bail conditions had earlier stipulated that they would not be allowed to travel outside the area of the Kochi police commissioner's jurisdiction.

The mother of Gelastine, one of the fishermen who was killed, said it was unfair that while the tears of families here still flowed over the deaths of dear ones, the Italian accused were allowed to celebrate Christmas with their dear ones.

"Yes, they have given us compensation. But do you think money could replace my lost son," the aged mother asked.

Dora, wife of the other fisherman shot dead by the Marines, said she was quite certain that the accused Italians would not return.

"We are very sure they won't return, but God will not spare them," Dora said.

The Kerala High Court on Thursday ruled that the two Italian Marines charged with the killing of the two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala in February can be allowed to go home for Christmas.

The court had caveats too: the Marines could be allowed to go provided they return latest by 3 pm, January 10, 2013, and the Indian government allows them to go. A bank guarantee of Rs 6 crores should also be furnished.

The court ruled that the Indian government should agree to allow them to return to Italy for Christmas, and ensure that the Italian government assured that the two would return to stand trial in India.

The Kerala government had strongly opposed any sort of relaxation that would allow the two to leave Kochi.

The state government had said that there was no guarantee that once they reach Italy, the two will return after Christmas.

Lattore Massimillano and Salvatore Girone, the two Marines, have been staying in a hotel in Kochi after being granted bail in the case.

They were allegedly involved in shooting dead two Indian fishermen, Ajesh Binki and Gelastine, Feb 15, taking the fishermen for pirates.

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