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India Extends Restrictions on Italian Ambassador

India's Supreme Court has extended its order barring the Italian ambassador from leaving the country for another week, rejecting his explanation for Italy's refusal to return two Italian marines charged with murder in New Delhi.

Chief Justice Altamas Kabir said Monday that Ambassador Daniele Mancici had waived his diplomatic immunity protecting him from arrest or detention when he submitted a written affidavit promising the marines would return to Italy by March 22.

Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone were part of a military security team on board a cargo ship when they shot and killed two Indian fishermen last year they had mistaken for pirates.

Italy claims the shooting occurred in international waters and that Rome should have jurisdiction in the case. Indian authorities say the ship was in Indian waters off the southern state of Kerala.

India last month granted Mancici's request that the marines be allowed to return to Italy to vote in that country's national elections based on his written assurance they would return.

But last week the Italian government announced the men would not go back, prompting fury in New Delhi.

The Indian Supreme Court then ruled Mancici had formally violated his pledge and barred him from leaving India, issuing an alert to airports with instructions that "appropriate steps" be taken to restrain him.

Relations between the two countries have been strained for other reasons, including corruption allegations over the pending sale of advanced Italian military helicopters which the Indian government is threatening to void.

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