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Italian-marinesThe Supreme Court today agreed to hear on May 26 the plea of Salvatore Girone, one of the two Italian marines who are accused of killing two fishermen off Kerala coast, seeking permission to go to his country till an International Arbitral Tribunal decides the jurisdictional issue between India and Italy.

The other marine Massimiliano Latorre is already in Italy on health grounds and his stay there has recently been extended by the apex court till September 30 this year.

A vacation bench comprising Justices P C Pant and D Y Chandrachud would hear the fresh plea of Girone on Thursday in which he has sought modification of a Kerala High Court order granting him bail in the case.

The marine, who presently is in the custody of the apex court and residing in Italian embassy here, has said that he be allowed to go back to his native place till the arbitral panel decides the jurisdictional aspect in the matter.

Italy and India have been making contrary claims over the right to prosecute the two Italian marines in the case.

Centre had earlier informed the court that international arbitration proceedings in the matter would be completed by December 2018.

The court had earlier stayed all criminal proceedings, including the trial of the two marines.

While allowing the joint request of India and Italy, the apex court had said the proceedings would remain stalled till the jurisdictional issue about which country has the right to conduct trial was decided through international arbitration.

The marines, who were on board ship ‘Enrica Lexie’, are accused of killing two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 15, 2012.

The complaint against the Italian marines was lodged by Freddy, the owner of the fishing boat ‘St Antony’, in which the two Indian fishermen were killed when the marines opened fire on them allegedly under the misconception that they were pirates.