Rome

Anti-piracy marines arrive back in India

Latorre and Girone smile at media posse

Anti-piracy marines arrive back in India

Rome, January 4 - Two Italian marines facing trial in India for allegedly killing two Indian fishermen during an anti-piracy mission in February arrived back in the Asian country Friday after spending Christmas with their families on a permit from Indian authorities. Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone smiled at an assembled media scrum at the international airport of Kochi before being driven to a police station in the southwestern state of Kerala by Italian consular staff, accompanied by an Indian police escort. The pair left Rome Thursday after their 14-day permit expired. They spent the holidays in their homes in the southern Italian region of Puglia after an Indian court granted their request. Latorre and Girone were then driven to the city of Kollum where they handed their passports back to Indian authorities. The marines have been at the centre of a diplomatic row between Italy and India after they allegedly shot fishermen Jelestine Valentine and Ajesh Binki off the southern Indian coast last February, mistaking them for pirates. They face homicide charges. The marines were released from detention on bail in June, but were confined to Indian territory until they were granted the holiday permit.

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