Italian marines on way back to India for trial

Updated: 2013-03-22 14:37


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MUMBAI - The two Italian marines who killed two Indian fishermen last year are leaving for India, the Indian government announced Friday.

"The Italian government requested and received written assurances from the Indian authorities regarding the treatment of the marines and the protection of their fundamental rights," the government said in a statement.

Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini had given an undertaking to India that the two marines -- Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone -- would return to India by March 22 after voting in the elections.  

However, the Italian government refused to return the marines early this month, causing a diplomatic stand off with India. India's Supreme Court last Thursday asked the Italian ambassador not to leave this country without its orders.

The two marines are accused of shooting dead the two India fishermen off Kerala coast in February 2012, after allegedly mistaking them for pirates. They were last year arrested by the police in Kerala and subsequently released on bail.

The incident has sparked diplomatic row between the two countries. While Italy says that the duo should be tried in an international court, India insists the shooting took place in its territorial waters and so the marines should be tried in this country.