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On an official visit to meet with the Head of the Catholic Church in Rome last week, the President of Kiribati used the opportunity to visit eight I-Kiribati seamen jailed in Italy for drug trafficking offences.
A report from the Office of the President described the visit as unprecedented that allowed the Kiribati Head of State to have a one-on-one conversation with the seamen about their needs.
The inmates jailed in three different prisons, were formerly seamen of Hamburg Sud.
President Taneti Mamau urged the men to be patient and obedient while serving their prison terms in Italy.
The six Kiribati nationals detained in Palmi prison are Teiti Burataake, Ataua Koraubara, Buranibeia Tiaon, Mareweata Karutaakea, Kabwebwenibeia Kakiaman and Teata Kinibura. Baketua Kirabuke is being held at Vibo Valentia and Tioti Ioataake at the Paola prison.
The men expressed remorse and regret for their actions and requested President Mamau to discuss with authorities the possibility of serving their sentences back in Kiribati.
The government statement said the eight Kiribati prisoners were being looked after well in their respective prisons.
Their final judgments will be handed down on 20 November.
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