A U.N. court has ruled that India must allow an Italian marine detained in Delhi for more than four years to go home, Italy’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
India acknowledged the ruling but said Salvatore Girone would remain under the authority of its Supreme Court which might impose various conditions on his release.
Girone is one of two Italian marines were arrested in India in 2012 on suspicion of killing two fishermen while on an anti-piracy mission on an Italian oil tanker. One returned to Italy with health problems, but India has refused to let Girone go.
He is living in the Italian embassy in Delhi.
“This really is a significant step forward which we have worked on with great dedication,” Prime Minister Matteo Renzi told reporters. “I’ll take advantage of this moment to send a message of friendship to the great people of India.”
The case has soured relations between India and Italy, and also overshadowed Delhi’s efforts to improve its ties with the European Union as other EU countries backed Rome in the row.
Looking to overcome the legal impasse, the two countries agreed last year to move their dispute to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague and abide by its decision.
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