India court turns down pleas by Italian marines

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NEW DELHI (AP) — India's top court on Tuesday turned down travel appeals by two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen in 2012.

The Supreme Court denied Massimiliano Latorre permission to remain in his country for two more months. It also refused permission for Salvatore Girone to travel to Italy for Christmas, Press Trust of India reported.

Latorre and Girone were part of a military security team on an Italian cargo ship in February 2012 when they opened fire on a fishing boat they said they mistook for a pirate craft and killed the two fishermen.

The case has sparked a bitter dispute between the countries.

Latorre has been in Italy since September undergoing medical treatment. He is due back in India on Jan. 15, but wanted permission to stay in Italy for another two months after undergoing heart surgery early next month.

Gironne, in his plea filed in the court, said his children were suffering from post-traumatic disorder due to his long absence.

But the court denied the two, who have not been charged yet, saying the trial has already been delayed and should not be delayed further.

The three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice H.L. Dattu, said the marines' presence in India was necessary for them to be charged and for the trial to begin.

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