Marò, case (almost) closed: India e Italy have agreed to close the dispute with compensation of over one million euros to the families of the two fishermen from Kerala, killed in February 2012.
The Indian Supreme Court has said it is ready to dismiss the matter as soon as the Italian State deposits the sum of 100 million rupees, equivalent to approximately 1.1 million euros, as compensation for the families of the victims. The sum is added to the 21.7 million rupees (245 thousand euros) already paid.
According to local media, one week after filing, the case will return to the High Court to be definitively closed, probably on April 19. At that point, the last restrictions to which Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone are subjected upon their return to Italy will also lapse, again by decision of the Indian Court.
It will then be the Supreme Court itself to distribute the money paid to the victims who accepted the compensation proposal: the families of the two fishermen killed, Ajeesh Pink and Valentine Jelastine, will receive 40 million rupees each, while the remaining 20 million will go to Freddy Bosco, the owner of the Saint Antony fishing boat on which the victims were sailing, who was himself injured in the shooting 9 years ago off the Kerala coast.
Enrica Lexie, the shooting of February 15, 2012
On 15 February 2012, the two Navy riflemen, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, were performing anti-piracy service on board the Italian commercial ship. Enrica Lexie: as the fishing boat approached, fearing a not unusual attack by pirates in that stretch of the Indian Ocean, they opened fire by firing, as they said, warning shots into the water. But on board the Saint Antony the two fishermen died.
The affair triggered a bitter diplomatic crisis between Italy and India, with Latorre and Girone first stopped in Kerala, then forced to reside in the Italian embassy in Delhi for years.
After a grueling dispute over who should try the two soldiers, in 2016 the Italian government decided to resort to international arbitration, which ended with a final ruling by the two parties in July 2020: the jurisdiction of the case is of Italian competence because at the time of the facts the two riflemen enjoyed “functional immunity”, but at the same time Italy should have compensated “the loss of human life, physical damage, material damage to the boat and the moral damage suffered by the captain and other members of the crew of the Indian fishing boat Saint Anthony ”.
Marò, the case now goes to the Rome prosecutor’s office
After the international affair, 9 years after the incident, it is therefore up to the Italian judiciary to enter into the merits of the affair. Since 2012, the Rome prosecutor has opened a file for voluntary murder, entrusted to the deputy prosecutor Erminio Amelio.
Latorre and Girone were heard by the Capitoline prosecutors on January 3, 2013, when they returned to Italy for a few days. And again in 2013, on behalf of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, an assessment was carried out on the computer and on a camera that were on board the Enrica Lexie.
The magistrates of Piazzale Clodio are now analyzing the documents sent by the Arbitral Tribunal and then proceeding with a definition of the file.