Rome: Italy said it will send back two marines to India, who face trial for killing two Kerala fishermen, after receiving an assurance from the Indian government about the protection of their fundamental rights. "The two sailors will start tonight (Thursday night CET) for India," the Italian government said in a statement, reversing an earlier decision not to send them to India as agreed when they were granted permission to return home to vote in elections.
"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. Italy's previous decision not to send marines - Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone - to face trial triggered a diplomatic standoff, with the Indian Supreme Court barring the Italian ambassador from leaving the country.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last week termed as "unacceptable" Italy's refusal to send its two marines back to India and said the issue will be taken up with that country.