Italian marines held in India return home for Christmas

ROME Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:00pm IST

Italian marines Salvatore Girone (L) and Massimiliano Latorre (C) arrive with Italian Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Luigi Pinelli Mantelli at Ciampino airport in Rome, December 22, 2012. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

Italian marines Salvatore Girone (L) and Massimiliano Latorre (C) arrive with Italian Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Luigi Pinelli Mantelli at Ciampino airport in Rome, December 22, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

Related Topics

ROME (Reuters) - Two Italian marines on anti-pirate duty charged in India with killing two fishermen in February arrived home on Saturday for a family Christmas after India gave them special leave.

"Finally we are breathing the air of home. We have to thank all the institutions which made all this possible," said Massimiliano Latorre on arrival at Rome's Ciampino airport with his colleague, Salvatore Girone.

"Ten long months have passed and we really didn't expect to be coming back for Christmas."

The two sailors, part of a military security team protecting the tanker Enrica Lexie, are accused of shooting the two fishermen they say they mistook for pirates off the southern Indian state of Kerala.

The incident has caused a serious diplomatic dispute between Italy and India, which have traditionally had good relations.

The two non-commissioned officers had been out of detention on bail but had not been permitted to leave India until the Kerala high court accepted a request to allow them to return home for Christmas.

The Italian government has undertaken to ensure they return to India by January 10.

The men were welcomed at the airport by Foreign Minister Giuliano Terzi and Defence Minister Giampaolo Di Paola.

Prime Minister Mario Monti also called the two shortly after their arrival to reiterate the government's determination to reach a final settlement of the case.

(Reporting by Roberto Landucci, edited by Richard Meares)

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

2015: India Outlook

2015: India Outlook

India in 2014: A dream run for markets  Full Article 

Funding Woes

Funding Woes

Co-founder of SpiceJet seeks time to finalise rescue  Full Article 

Regulating Airfares

Regulating Airfares

India considers temporary cap on airfares - government official  Full Article 

Flying Back on Course

Flying Back on Course

The inside story of the new Airbus A350 jet  Full Article 

Oil Price Forecast

Oil Price Forecast

Oil prices likely to rebound in second half of 2015: poll  Full Article 

Cyber Attacks

Cyber Attacks

China condemns cyberattacks, but says no proof N.Korea hacked Sony  Full Article 

Connecting Markets

Connecting Markets

China stock connect scheme scorecard throws up surprises  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage