x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Italian marines accused of killing Indian fisherman granted bail

A court granted bail to two Italian marines accused of fatally shooting two Indian fishermen they mistook for pirates.

NEW DELHI // A court granted bail to two Italian marines accused of fatally shooting two Indian fishermen they mistook for pirates.

The Kerala High Court also ordered the Italians to present two Indians each to be guarantors to ensure the marines' presence during the trial, said Home Minister T Radhakrishnan. The bail for each marine was set at 10 million rupees (Dh650,000) each, and their guarantors also have to deposit 10mn rupees each with the court as surety.

The two marines were providing antipiracy security aboard a cargo ship when they killed the fishermen three months ago, and the case has led to diplomatic wrangling between India and Italy.

New Delhi says the men should be tried in India because the killings happened on an Indian boat within India's territorial waters. Rome says the shootings took place in international waters and the case should be handled in Italy.

The court also ordered the Italians to surrender their passports and said they cannot leave Kerala without the permission of the court.

The two marines, arrested on February 19, were moved last week from a jail in Kerala to a juvenile reformatory while they await trial on charges of murder.

It was not immediately clear when the men would be allowed to leave the reformatory. Court officials said the men would remain there while bail formalities were completed.