India court rejects Italian marines' travel appeals

File pic of Massimiliano Latorre (L) and Salvatore Girone (Dec 2012) Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Massimiliano Latorre (L) and Salvatore Girone were first held on suspicion of murder in February 2012

India's Supreme Court has rejected travel appeals of the two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen in 2012.

The court refused permission to Salvatore Girone to travel to Italy for Christmas.

It also rejected Massimiliano Latorre's request to extend his stay in Italy by two more months. He was allowed to go home in September for four months for medical treatment.

The marines are on bail pending trial.

On Tuesday, the court said the trial had already been much delayed and that legal proceedings must resume soon.

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.

Italy has always insisted that as the shooting had taken place in international waters, the men should be tried in Italy.

Last year, Delhi and Rome were involved in a bitter diplomatic row after Italy refused to send the marines back when they were allowed to go home to vote in the February 2013 elections.

The marines eventually returned to Delhi a month later and the court withdrew its controversial order.

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