Vessel case: Kerala to decide after SC order

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala government would take a decision on the Supreme court directive to consider the plea for transfering to a guest house the two marines on board Italian ship `Enrica Lexie`, arrested in connection with the killing of two Indian fishermen, after getting the apex court order, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said today.

"Government has not received the order. After examining the directive, we will take a decision," Chandy told reporters here after a cabinet meeting. The chargesheet against the marines Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone, currently lodged in a jail here, would be filed within the stipulated time, he said, adding "Kerala police have done a good job in the case."

A murder case has been registered against them in connection with the `sea-shooting` incident. The naval guards were arrested on February 19 and charged with murder of fishermen Valentine Jalastine and Ajesh Binki, who took to the sea on the boat `St Antony` from Neendakara in Kollam, after they allegedly fired at the boat off Kerala coast on February 15.

The marines were in police custody in the first 14 days and had been lodged in a special cell in the central prison since March 5 after the court remanded them to judicial custody. In the initial days of their arrest, they were lodged in a guest house at Kochi. Later, they were shifted to the Central prison here. After a prolonged legal battle, the Italian ship finally left the Kerala shore on May 5 after getting necessary court clearance.