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India court ends travel ban on Italian envoy

Top court lifts order after Italian marines accused of killing Indian fishermen return to India to face trial.

Last Modified: 02 Apr 2013 20:05
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Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre (R) and Salvatore Girone (L) returned to India to face trial [File: AFP]

India's Supreme Court has withdrawn an order barring the Italian ambassador from leaving India after the return of two Italian marines charged with killing two Indian fishermen, news reports have said.

Press Trust of India news agency reported that the court also asked that a special court be set up to try the marines, who returned last month after weeks of diplomatic wrangling. It was not however, immediately possible to confirm the report.

The court had allowed the marines to leave in February to vote in Italian elections and to celebrate Easter after Ambassador Daniele Mancini promised the men would return.

Italy had initially refused to send the men back, prompting the court to bar Mancini from leaving India.

The marines, Massimilian Latorre and Salvatore Girone, were part of a military security team on board a cargo ship when they fired at a fishing boat in February last year, killing the two fishermen in the waters of southern state of Kerala.

The marines said they mistook the fishing boat for a pirate craft.

Giulio Terzi, the Italian foriegn minister, resigned over the issue, saying he was doing so in solidarity with the marines and because his decision to keep them in Italy had been overruled.

Rome's unexpected decision to return Latorre and Girone sparked anger in Italy, particularly because the men and their families had been previously told they would not be sent back.

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