India’s Kerala High Court on Thursday ordered the release of the Italian tanker, M/V Enrica Lexie, that has been embroiled in a diplomatic row between the two countries after two Indian fisherman were allegedly shot and killed by Italian marines onboard the vessel as part of a navy security detail.
The Enrica Lexie and her crew were detained by Indian officials not long after the February 15th shooting off the southern coast of India and has remained anchored at a Kochi Port ever since.
The owners of the Enrica Lexie, Dolphin Shipping, argued that the marines were not a part of the ships crew, but rather appointed by the Italian Navy for security and should be released.
India’s Kerala High Court seemed to agree, calling for the release of the vessel under the condition that its master, crew, and other security personnel onboard would appear as called upon by the courts and as part of the investigation.
Meanwhile the two Italian marines accused in the shooting, Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Gironi, are being held in an Indian prison and face charges of murder.