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Italian marine asks Indian court to extend visit home

January 7, 2015

NEW DELHI (AP) — An Italian marine detained in connection with the shootings of two Indian fishermen in 2012 asked India’s top court on Wednesday to extend his visit home after he had heart surgery.

Lawyers for Massimiliano Latorre applied to the Supreme Court for permission to remain in Italy, where he had the surgery on Monday.

The court said his application would be taken up for hearing on Monday.

Latorre and a second Italian marine were providing security aboard a cargo ship in February 2012 when they opened fire on a fishing boat they mistook for a pirate craft and killed two Indian fishermen.

Latorre has been in Italy since September undergoing medical treatment after suffering a stroke. He’s due back in India on Jan. 15.

The drawn-out case has soured relations between Italy and India.

Last month, the top court had turned down Latorre’s appeal for permission to remain in Italy for two more months citing his heart ailment.

The court had also rejected a request by the other marine, Salvatore Girone, to return home for Christmas.

Nearly three years after the shooting, no formal charges have been lodged. Indian authorities say charges cannot be filed without both men being in India and blame the delays on uncertainty over what law to use to prosecute them.

The men have been on bail while living and working in the Italian embassy in New Delhi.

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