New Delhi: An Italian marine accused of killing two Indian fishermen asked a court through his lawyers Wednesday for more time at home to recover from heart surgery amid a diplomatic row over the case.
Last September India`s Supreme Court allowed Massimiliano Latorre to spend four months in Italy after he was found to be suffering from cerebral ischaemia -- a restricted blood supply that can lead to a stroke.
The court ruled last month that Latorre must return to India in January over the shooting that occurred during an anti-piracy mission off the southern state of Kerala in February 2012.
But lawyers for the marine on Wednesday again petitioned the court in New Delhi to allow him extra time at home.
They said he underwent heart surgery in January and needs to recuperate, according to the Press Trust of India.
The court agreed to hear arguments supporting the request on Monday, the news agency said.
Latorre and fellow marine Salvatore Girone, who is in India, are accused of shooting the fishermen during their mission on an Italian-flagged oil tanker.
The Italian sailors say they mistook the fishing boat for a pirate vessel and fired what were intended to be warning shots.
Italy says the pair should be tried on home soil since the shootings involved an Italian-flagged vessel in what Rome insists were international waters.
India, however, asserts the killings took place in waters under its jurisdiction.
Rome last month threatened to withdraw its ambassador from India after the court rejected the appeal over the leave.
The marines were granted home visits to vote in national elections last year, but India was furious when the Italian government initially said it would not send the men back.
A subsequent U-turn, which followed intense Indian diplomatic pressure, triggered the resignation of Italy`s then foreign minister.