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Ship probe: Italian vessel's inspection begins

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Feb 25, 2012 at 01:47pm IST

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Kochi: The Kerala Police and an Italian team with two experts began searching the Italian ship Enrica Lexie on Saturday for the weapons allegedly used by the two naval guards in the killing of two Indian fishermen on February 15.

The high court earlier ordered the arrest of the vessel till Monday.

A Kollam court had earlier this week had permitted police to seize the arms allegedly used to fire at the fishermen. The court had also accepted Italy's plea to have its representatives present during the ballistic examination.

Ship probe: Italian vessel's inspection begins

Kerala Police have begun searching Enrica Lexie for the guns used to fire at the Indian fishermens.

The Italian vessel was brought to the Kochi port on Friday.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy asserted that the FIR filed by Kerala Police in the case is 'quite strong' and there is no attempt to weaken it. Chandy rejected criticism in certain quarters that the FIR was weak and said it was prepared after gathering all available evidence.

The two naval guards have been charged with murder of the fishermen killed in firing from the ship off Kollam coast on February 15. The Italians have been maintaining they opened fire assuming the fishermen on board the boat to be pirates.

Police will seize and seal the fire arms, suspected to have been used by the two arrested Italian naval guards Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone in the killing of two Indian fishermen off Kollam coast on February 15.

Kollam and Kochi Police Commissioners Debesh Kumar Behera and M R Ajith Kumar, also the SIT chief, respectively along with a team of police officers and forensic expert boarded the tanker followed by a 10-member Italian delegation, including two Italian ballistic experts Major Flebus Luca and Major Fratini Paolo, police sources said.

With Additional Inputs from PTI

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