Italy has welcomed a ruling by India's top court allowing a marine accused of killing two Indian fisherman off the coast of Kerala in 2012 to remain in his homeland until an international arbitration verdict in the case.
"The Foreign Ministry welcomes with great satisfaction the Indian Supreme Court's decision released today [Massimiliano] Latorre's right to remain in Italy until the end of the arbitration proceedings as requested by Italy," said a statement on Wednesday.
The Indian apex court's decision on Latorre is an "important step", the Italian foreign ministry said.
The decision extends to Latorre the same provision made for his fellow marine Salvatore Girone on 29 April by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague, the ministry noted.
Girone arrive back in Italy on 2 June from India, where he had been detained since the incident in February 2012 when he and Latorre were arrested over the two fishermen's killings while guarding an Italian oil tanker.
Girone and Latorre claim they thought the unarmed fishermen were pirates.
The marines have not been charged over the fishermen's deaths but were barred from leaving India and were ordered to stay at the Italian ambassador's residence and report regularly to police.
Girone has been back in Italy since November 2014, where he had heart surgery after suffering a stroke.
The long-running case sparked a diplomatic incident between India and Italy and strained bilateral ties, prompting Italy to seek international arbitration in June last year.
Italy claims India does not have jurisdiction in the case as the incident took place in international waters during an United Nations backed anti-piracy mission.