KOLLAM: Citing strong circumstantial and material evidence for prosecution of the two Italian marines accused in the killing of two fishermen, Special Investigation Team on Friday submitted a chargesheet running into 196 pages before the Kollam Chief Judicial Magistrate Court.
The charges levelled against the marines are: Section 302(murder), 307(attempt to murder), 427(mischief causing damage), 34(common intention) of IPC and Article 3 of SUA Act and backed by 126 supporting documents, 46 material objects and 60 witnesses.
In the chargesheet, the probing agency corroborates that the bullets fired by the first accused Latorre Massimiliano and second accused Salvatore Girone killed the two fishermen, Valentine Jelestine and Ajeesh Pink.
The supporting documents include the report of the ballistic examination of the weapons seized from the ship at Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), which identifies the two Beretta rifles used for the murder.
The probe team states that documents seized from the ship and witnesses (other marines and ship crew) confirmed that the two rifles were used by the accused marines and they had fired at the victims’ boat.
It also suggests that the firing was done within a range of 100-200 metres and Massimiliano fired 12 rounds and Girone fired 8 rounds of bullets at the victims’ boat.
The SIT states that the incident happened at 20.5 nautical miles off the Kerala Coast, well within the contagious zone of the country. The distance was ascertained after the data from the Global Positioning System in the Ship and the boat, Satellite Images and Voyage Chart collected from Maritime Rescue Centre, Mumbai, confirmed that the incident happened at 9° 17’2” North and 0.76° 1’8” East.
The material evidence include six Beretta guns, two mini light machine guns, 1,690 bullets and two deck-logs, Voyage Data Recorder (DR) and registration documents and GPS equipment of the boat. The witnesses in the case include the 9 surviving crew members of the boat ‘St Antony’, six members of the ship, including the captain and marine personnel and Coast Guard officials.
A copy of the chargesheet would be given to the marines on or before May 25 and they would be given time to raise objections if any, before the commencement of the trial at the District and Sessions Court.