Six i-Kiribati freed, two jailed in Italy

Six i-Kiribati men who were jailed in Italy on drug-trafficking charges have been acquitted and freed, the Kiribati government says.

However, Radio Kiribati reported two others had been sentenced by Italy's Court of Appeal to six and 15 years imprisonment respectively.

The eight men were arrested in October 2016 after they allegedly threw hundreds of kilograms of cocaine overboard.

Italian authorities found 385 kilogrammes of cocaine floating in 17 waterproof bags 25 kilometres from the southern port of Gioia Tauro.

The six were acquitted earlier this month and the Kiribati government paid for their repatriation.

The Kiribati Foreign Ministry said the welfare of the two jailed men would be monitored.