One of the two Italian marines charged with the murder of Indian fishermen in 2012, Salvatore Girone will return home “in a few weeks”, the Italian defence minister Roberta Pinotti said on Wednesday.
Girone “will come back to Italy in a few weeks, there are still bureaucratic procedures to go through,” Pinotti was quoted as saying by the Italian news agency ANSA.
Girone, along with another Italian marine Massimiliano Latorre on board ship ‘Enrica Lexie’, is accused by India of killing two of its fishermen off the Kerala coast in 2012.
He has not been able to leave India, aside from a few brief permits, since the incident.
Latorre is back in Italy after suffering a stroke in 2014 while Girone is staying at the Italian embassy in New Delhi.
Pinotti said a UN tribunal in The Hague allowing Girone back to Italy for the duration of arbitration was “nice news” but the process is long with a verdict not expected before 2018.
“It was nice news we were hoping for and for which we worked silently in close contact with the team of lawyers that handles the international dispute on the two marines,” she said.
“The Hague tribunal recognised what we were asking and that is that Girone should return to Italy and live with his family.” But the process will still be long, Pinotti said.
“It’s not over. We’ll have to wait for the outcome of the arbitration, but I’m sure we’ll get the right result,” she added.