Free Press Journal

Italian minister to meet fisherman family in Kollam


Kollam (Kerala)

Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Staffan de Mistura arrived here Saturday afternoon and visited a prominent church here.

He was also e

xpected to visit the home of Gelastine, one of the two Indian fishermen shot dead by Italian marines aboard Italian ship Enrica Lexie last month after allegedly being mistaken as pirates.

Knowledgeable sources said de Mistura’s visit is meant to assess if an out-of-court settlement is possible as the 14-day-custody of the two arrested Italian marines, Latorre Massimillano and Salvatore Girone, ends on Monday.

Visiting the church, the minister met the parish vicar who was in Italy for six years.

Meeting the media later, de Mistura expressed regret about the killing but declined to speak more about it.

"We wish to see the family of the deceased… the incident was very tragic for the family," he said.

The Kollam chief judicial magistrate court here is looking into this case and it has issued a warrant to search the ship from where seven guns were seized by the investigating Kerala Police team.

The weapons are now in the custody of forensic experts in the state capital and were inspected in the presence of two Italian officials on the direction of the Kollam court.

Meanwhile, Gelastine’s family has filed an admiralty petition in the Kerala High Court demanding a compensation of Rs.1 crore, while the family of Ajesh Binki, the other slain fisherman, has demanded a compensation of Rs.2 crore.

Meanwhile, another petition of the Italian authorities demanding the quashing of the FIR against the marines is also coming up in the high court, where a final judgment is expected Tuesday.