India

India allows Italian marine to return home

  • 12 September 2014
  • From the section India
Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre (L) and Salvatore Girone (R)
Image caption Massimiliano Latorre (L) and Salvatore Girone have been staying at the Italian embassy in Delhi

India's Supreme Court has allowed one of the two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen in 2012 to return home on medical grounds.

Massimiliano Latorre, who was recently released from a hospital in Delhi after treatment for an ailment, has been allowed to go home for four months.

Italy had requested the top court to allow him to recuperate at home.

Marines Latorre and Salvatore Girone are on bail pending trial, and are living at the Italian embassy in Delhi.

Latorre, 47, was hospitalised last week for treatment of ischemia - a blood blockage that can lead to a stroke.

He was released on Sunday and was not thought to be in any immediate danger, media reports said.

But Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini said that his chances of a full recovery would improve if he was allowed to return home.

On Friday, the Italian ambassador in Delhi gave a written undertaking to judges that Massimiliano Latorre would return to India in four months.

The marines were guarding an Italian oil tanker when they opened fire, killing two men off the Kerala coast. The marines said they mistook the fishermen for pirates.

India has ruled out the possibility of a death penalty and invoking the anti-piracy law to try the marines.

They were allowed to go home to vote in elections in February 2013.

Rome initially refused to send them back, arguing the trial should take place in Italy as the incident took place in international waters. This led to a diplomatic spat between the two countries.

The marines eventually returned to Delhi a month later.

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