Hague Court Says Italian Sailor Should Return Home

The two Italian marines are accused of killing two Indian fishermen in 2012 after they mistook them for pirates.

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Italian Marines Massimiliano Latorre (left) and  Salvatore Girone are charged with murder in India. (Photo: Reuters)

A UN arbitration court has ruled that India should release an Italian marine, who has been detained in Delhi for more than four years, and allow him to return home, the Italian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

India arrested two Italian marines, in 2012, on the suspicion that they killed two fishermen that they had mistaken for pirates while they had been escorting an oil tanker. One of them returned to Italy citing health problems, but India has refused to let the other man, Salvatore Girone, leave the country.

 Italian sailors Massimiliano Latorre (left) and Salvatore Girone in a police vehicle after they appeared in a Kochi Court. (Photo: Reuters)
Italian sailors Massimiliano Latorre (left) and Salvatore Girone in a police vehicle after they appeared in a Kochi Court. (Photo: Reuters)

The case has soured relations between India and Italy, but the two countries agreed last year to move the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague and abide by its decisions.

The Italian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that in an initial ruling, the court had decided that Girone should be allowed to go home. It said it would be in immediate contact with India to try to make sure he would return as soon as possible.

However, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs has said;

Italy is misrepresenting the Tribunal order. No marine has been freed. Bail condition of the second Marine will be set by Supreme Court of India.

The court will continue to review the merits of the case against the two marines. The Indian Supreme Court had extended the stay of marine Massimiliano Latorre in Italy till 30 September.

Also Read: EU-India Summit Fails to Defuse Row Over Italian Marines

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