12/20/2012 05:23 EST | Updated 02/19/2013 05:12 EST

Indian court says detained Italian Marines might be able to go home for Christmas

NEW DELHI - The Press Trust of India says an Indian court has ruled that two Italian Marines detained for the deaths of two fishermen can go home briefly for Christmas if the Indian government approves.

Foreign affairs spokesman Syed Akbaruddin says the government is waiting to receive Thursday's judgment from the Kerala High Court before making a decision.

The Marines were aboard a cargo ship in February when they opened fire on a fishing boat they mistook for a pirate craft and killed two Indian fishermen. They are out on bail but cannot leave the country without court permission.

Italian Defence Minister Giampaolo Di Paolo visited them in the southern city of Kochi over the weekend and appealed to India to let them celebrate the holiday with their families.