Skip to main content

Italy to send 2 marines accused of killing fishermen back to India

By Jethro Mullen, CNN
updated 12:33 AM EDT, Fri March 22, 2013
Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre (R) and Salvatore Girone (L) arrive at Ciampino airport near Rome on December 22.
Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre (R) and Salvatore Girone (L) arrive at Ciampino airport near Rome on December 22.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Rome says it received assurances that the marines' rights will be protected
  • The 2 sailors face trial in India in connection with the killing of 2 Indian fishermen
  • India's Supreme Court allowed the Italians to leave India on condition they would return
  • When they failed to come back, India placed a travel ban on the Italian ambassador

(CNN) -- Italy has moved to defuse a diplomatic dispute with India by agreeing to send back two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen last year.

The two Italian marines are due to face trial in India over the allegations, but after the Indian Supreme Court allowed them to return to Italy last month to vote in national elections, Rome refused to send them back.

That decision angered Indian government officials and Supreme Court justices, who noted that the Italian ambassador had given assurances to the court that the marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, would come back to India after the elections.

The court responded last week by temporarily banning the ambassador, Daniele Mancini, from leaving India, a move that Italy said violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

The two sides appeared locked in an impasse, with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying Italy's actions were "not acceptable" and warning of "consequences" for the two countries' relations.

On Thursday, the Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti's office said it would make good on the commitment to send the sailors back after receiving written assurances from the Indian government that the two men's "fundamental rights" would be protected.

The two sailors have agreed to the decision, it said.

The Indian government appeared to welcome the move, with Home Affairs Minister R.P.N. Singh saying on Twitter that New Delhi's "tough stand" had worked.

Italy has argued that the February 2012 shooting involving its marines happened in international waters and was therefore outside of Indian jurisdiction. Latorre and Girone say they mistook the fishermen for pirates.

CNN's Elwyn Lopez contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:35 PM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
The possibility of pockets of air remaining within the hull of the sunken South Korean ferry offers hope to rescuers -- and relatives -- say experts.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
Despite hundreds still missing after the sinking of a South Korean ferry, reports of text messages keep hope alive that there may be survivors yet.
updated 12:14 PM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
An Iranian mother slaps and then forgives her 17-year old son's murderer in dramatic scenes at the gallows.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
updated 5:31 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Russia's propaganda worse now than at height of Cold War, says Leon Aron, director of Russian studies at AEI.
Sanctions imposed against Russia are working as a deterrent, President Barack Obama and other White House senior administration officials said.
updated 12:40 AM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
A lack of progress in the search for MH370 is angering the families of victims.
updated 11:09 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
The searches for the Titanic and Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 share common techniques.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
updated 11:35 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
This year's Pyongyang marathon was open to foreign amateurs.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
updated 1:53 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
How are police preparing for this year's 26.2-mile marathon, which takes place Monday?
updated 1:02 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
Katrina Karkazis
Romance is hard, for anyone. For people with intersex traits, love poses unique challenges.
updated 5:26 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
The "kill switch," a system for remotely disabling smartphones and wiping their data, will become standard in 2015.
updated 11:52 AM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
ADVERTISEMENT