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Keen to meet the 90-day deadline, the investigation team probing the Enrica Lexie firing case is likely to file the chargesheet against the two Italian Marines at the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court on Friday. The chargesheet holds Latorre Massimiliano, chief commander of the six- member security unit on board Enrica Lexie, as the first accused and Salvatore Girone as the second accused.

The Special Investigation Team led by Kochi City Police Commissioner M R Ajith Kumar will slap Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 427 (Mischief causing damage) read with Section 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC and most importantly Section 3 of the SUA Act (Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, 2002).

In an effort to put an end to all debates over the exact location of the incident, the investigation team has scientifically ascertained the latitudinal and longitudinal location of the incident. While the FIR noted that the incident took place at 33 nautical miles from the Neendakara coast, the scientific measurement made from the Indian baseline confirms that the incident took place with the contiguous zone of the country (within 22 nautical miles).

The chargesheet has about 150 documents, including the Forensic Science Laboratory report, which confirms the weapons used to kill the two fishermen. It took 89 days for the SIT, since the arrest of two Marines on February 19, to file the chargesheet in the case.

THE SUA ACT

The SUA Act is being invoked against the Marines in view of the case at the Supreme Court challenging the jurisdiction of the state police to register the case. According to Section 3 of SUA Act, action can be taken against any person committing offence even if beyond the Indian Territory. Under SUA Act, offences against the safe navigation of a vessel shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term of up to ten years and fine. Unlawfully causing death to any person shall be punishable with death. The trial in the case is expected to begin at the District and Sessions Court by the last week of May. The prosecution will be represented by special public prosecutor G Mohanraj.


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