India court allows Italian marine to go home

Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre (L) and Salvatore Girone (R) Image copyright AFP
Image caption Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone (R) are facing murder charges

An Italian marine charged with the 2012 murders of two Indian fishermen can go home, India's Supreme Court has said.

Altering his bail conditions, the court said Salvatore Girone must return within a month if an international tribunal rules he be tried in India.

Fellow marine Massimiliano Latorre is also on bail for murder but returned to Italy in 2014 for heart surgery.

The marines were guarding an Italian oil tanker off the Indian coast and say they mistook the fishermen for pirates.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi tweeted that Salvatore Girone would be home on 2 June, Italy's Republic Day.

"We confirm our friendship with India, its people and its government," Mr Renzi said.

The marine has been living in the Italian embassy in Delhi.

He was barred from leaving India pending the resolution of the dispute between Delhi and Rome over which country had jurisdiction in the case.

Italy referred the row to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague last year.

On Thursday, India's top court agreed to allow him to go home, pending the decision of the tribunal.

"Having considered submissions of the parties, subject to conditions, the Italian marine Salvatore Girone's bail conditions are modified," judges PC Pant and DY Chandrachud said in their judgement.

India has ruled out the possibility of the death penalty in the case.

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

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