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May 19, 2012 at 09:21am IST

Fishermen killings: Court to decide on Italian marines' bail plea today

New Delhi: The Kollam sessions court will on Saturday pronounce its verdict on the bail plea of the two Italian marines accused in the fishermen killings case. In a new turn of events, Italy on Friday recalled its India ambassador Giacomo Monteforte to Rome.

The ambassador was reportedly called back for consultations after the two Italian marines were charged with murder in the case on Friday.

Meanhwile, Italy's Deputy Foreign Minister Stefan Mistura questioned India's legal system. Speaking to Karan Thapar on 'The Last Word', Mistura said that the marines were wrongfully charged of murder and attempt to murder and insisted that the two must be judged by international law. He further described the killing of the fishermen as "accidental".

"Let's go through the processes. We have to understand what has been happening. Of course, the judges will decide on it... the following points... the vessel was moving with Italian marines on board. They were in international waters... I repeat, international waters... They were perceiving and feeling that there could have been an attempt of attack from the pirates because in that area, there have been six attacks from the pirates in the past. Therefore murder is out of question. Accidental,unwanted killing due to an unfortunate incident, possible. But that is a totally different picture. They were not pirates, we know it, they were fishermen. Our own principle is that they should be judged by international law and that military people in any country including India would want to be judged in their own country."

The naval guards, lodged in the Central prison at Thiruvanathapuram for nearly three months, are facing charges under IPC sections 307 (attempt to murder), 427 (causing damage or loss) and 34 (acting in common intention).

The charge sheet, drawn up after three months of investigation, said the ship was sailing 20.5 nautical miles off the Indian coast when the marines fired at the fishermen from Kerala who were aboard the boat St Antony.

The charge sheet listed vital exhibits like Voyage Data Recorder (DR), six Beretta guns, two mini-light machine guns, 1690 bullets and the deck-log of the ship, both in Italian and English and GPS, seized from the vessel.