Skip to main content

Indian court lifts travel ban on Italian ambassador after marines' return

By Harmeet Shah Singh and Jethro Mullen, CNN
updated 11:49 AM EDT, Tue April 2, 2013
Indian fishermen burn an effigy of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Trivandrum, Kerala, on March 13, 2013.
Indian fishermen burn an effigy of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Trivandrum, Kerala, on March 13, 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The two Italian marines arrived back in India last month
  • They are accused of killing two Indian fishermen last year
  • Rome had initially refused to send the marines back from voting in elections
  • The Indian Supreme Court said the Italian ambassador had assured they would return

New Delhi (CNN) -- The Indian Supreme Court on Tuesday lifted its foreign travel ban on the Italian ambassador following Rome's recent decision to send two marines back to New Delhi where they face trial over the killing of two fishermen last year, a lawyer said.

The court barred Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini from leaving India last month because of Rome's refusal at the time to return the two marines, who had been allowed to go home temporarily to vote in national elections.

Diljeet Titus, a lawyer representing the Italian side, said the Supreme Court had lifted its travel restrictions on Mancini after the two sailors -- Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone -- subsequently arrived back in India.

Rome's initial decision not to return the marines angered Indian government officials and Supreme Court justices, who noted that the Italian ambassador had given assurances to the court that they would come back to India after the elections.

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.

But Rome backed down, announcing on March 21 that it would send Latorre and Girone back after receiving written assurances from the Indian government that the two men's "fundamental rights" would be protected.

The two sailors agreed to the decision, it said. But the move created some dissent in the ranks of Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti's government: Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi resigned March 26 over the matter.

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 Indian fishermen for pirates.

On Tuesday, the Indian Supreme court scheduled a hearing for April 16 to seek the Indian government¹s response on plans to set up a special court for trying the two Italian men, Titus said.

CNN's Harmeet Shah Singh reported from New Delhi, and Jethro Mullen wrote from Hong Kong.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 4:01 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
The U.S. has promised to supply and train "acceptable" rebels in Syria to counter ISIS. But who are they and are can the strategy work?
updated 10:57 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Do the Chinese really like to mix their Bordeaux with Coca-Cola?
updated 6:34 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Al Qaeda's new Syrian branch, Khorasan, is seeking new ways to attack America and Europe, with a top U.S. intelligence official saying it has "aspirations for attacks on the homeland."
updated 8:39 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Branded an "extremist" by China's state-run media, Joshua Wong isn't even old enough to drive.
updated 2:55 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised political pundits with his rapid rise to power. CNN meets the man behind the enigma.
updated 7:44 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Liverpool's Italian forward Mario Balotelli reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Liverpool and Ludogorets Razgrad at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool on September 16, 2014.
British police launched an investigation into abusive tweets sent to Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli.
updated 7:44 PM EDT, Sun September 21, 2014
A woman who was texting her husband before he was killed reflects on the Westgate attack.
updated 11:54 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
The real secret to a faster commute has been with us all along -- the bus.
updated 9:16 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
13 brands retained their Top 20 status from last year, according to an annual survey.
updated 11:49 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Think your new tattoo is cool? Look at how our ancestors did it and think again.
updated 7:00 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT