Rome: Lawyers for one of the two Italian marines detained in India over the 2012 killing of two fishermen have launched a bid to have him flown home on medical grounds, defence officials said on Saturday.
Massimiliano Latorre has spent the last week in hospital in New Delhi after collapsing at the Italian embassy with an ischemia -- a blockage in the flow of blood to the brain which can lead to a stroke.
His legal team have lodged an emergency request with India's Supreme Court for him to be granted leave to return to Italy to continue his recuperation and a first hearing has been scheduled for Monday, a spokesman for the defence ministry in Rome told AFP.
Latorre's legal team will argue that, having suffered a potentially life-threatening episode, the Chief Master Sergeant should be allowed to return to Italy in order to reduce the risk of a stress-induced repeat incident while he awaits the resolution of a case that has dragged on for over two years and has soured diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Latorre's lawyers in India said last week he was recovering well in the neurology unit of a clinic in the Indian capital and defence minister Roberta Pinotti, who made a bedside visit to Latorre on Monday, has praised the care he has received from his Indian doctors.
Latorre and fellow marine Salvatore Girone are currently barred from leaving India pending a possible trial and have been living at Italy's embassy in New Delhi.
They are accused of shooting the two fishermen while serving as security on an Italian-flagged oil tanker, the Enrica Lexie, off the southern Indian state of Kerala in February 2012.
They say they mistook the fishing boat for a pirate vessel and only fired warning shots. The marines were on board the tanker as part of a UN-mandated anti-piracy operation.