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India: Marines – go-ahead for transfer from prison. New mission by de Mistura

The authorities in Kerala have authorised the transfer of the two Italian marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, from Trivandrum prison to another structure in the city, Kochi Borstal School. The School was suggested by the Italian delegation as a possible alternative to prison. The marines will be transferred some time in the next 3 weeks. The decision by Trivandrum’s prison and police authorities was announced at the end of the week-long deadline issued by the Supreme Court in New Delhi and came after several meetings, including with the Italian delegation in the city.

Appeal lodged for release on bail

The marines’ lawyers have lodged an appeal with the Session Court in Kollam to have the two marines released on bail. The need for the appeal, which will be heard on Saturday 19 May, arose when the first application was rejected by the Court of First Instance on technical grounds, on 11 May. The Supreme Court clarified some days ago that the appeal did not run counter to the line followed thus far by Italy, of not recognising the jurisdiction of the Indian courts in this case.

New mission by de Mistura

Staffan de Mistura, the Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, has in the meantime arrived in Trivandrum for talks with the authorities. He will remain in the city at least until Sunday 21 May. This is the Undersecretary’s third visit since the second half of February, when the two marines were arrested and accused of killing two Indian fishermen.

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