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May 30, 2012 at 03:47pm IST

Fishermen killings: Kerala HC grants bail to two Italian marines

Thiruvananthapuram: Three months after being jailed for allegedly killing two Indian fishermen, the Kerala High Court granted bail to two Italian marines on Wednesday.

The court asked the marines to deposit Rs 1 crore as personal bond. But the Italians cannot leave Kochi as their passports are with the police. The court also asked two Indians to stand as surety for the Italian marines.

The Italian marines' lawyer Rajender Nair said, "The marines will not leave the jurisdiction of the city of Kochi for the time being, but they are relieved."

Earlier on Tuesday, the Kerala High Court had dismissed a petition by the Italian Government seeking quashing of the FIR against the two marines.

The two marines - Latore Massimilliano and Salvatore Girone, arrested on Feb 19 are in judicial custody and lodged at the Borstal school here which houses juvenile delinquents.

They have been charged with murder of fishermen Valentine alias Jalestine and Ajesh Binki, who had put out to sea from the Needakara coast in Kollam, by firing at them from on board the merchant ship whose authorities have maintained that the marines mistook the fishermen for pirates.

(With additional information from PTI)

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