Italian marines held in India return home to vote

ROME Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:52am IST

Italian sailors Salvatore Girone (R) and Massimiliano Latorre leave the police commissioner office in Kochi January 18, 2013. REUTERS/Sivaram V

Italian sailors Salvatore Girone (R) and Massimiliano Latorre leave the police commissioner office in Kochi January 18, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Sivaram V

Related Topics

ROME (Reuters) - Two Italian marines charged in India with killing two fishermen while on anti-pirate duty a year ago arrived home on Saturday to vote in parliamentary elections this weekend.

"We are happy to be back home. This has been possible because India's Supreme Court ... has shown itself to be very democratic by recognising our right to vote," Massimiliano Latorre said on arrival at Rome Fiumicino airport with his colleague, Salvatore Girone.

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 coast of Kerala in February last year.

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

India's Supreme Court said in a long-awaited ruling last month that India had jurisdiction to try the marines, setting the stage for a criminal trial that could further sour ties between the two nations.

Italy had challenged India's right to try the two, arguing that the shooting had taken place in international waters.

The men were welcomed at the airport by outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti. They will be allowed to stay in Italy for four weeks.

The Italians also spent Christmas in Italy, after a Kerala court allowed them to join their families for the holiday, on condition they returned to India by January 10, which they did.

The marines are held at the Italian embassy in New Delhi and report to a police station once a week.

(Reporting by Catherine Hornby; Editing by Jon Hemming)

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 

Tracking Gold

Tracking Gold

Gold inches higher on weaker dollar, Asian buying  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