Italy must return marine if India’s jurisdiction is proved: UN court

  • AFP, The Hague
  • Updated: May 03, 2016 18:47 IST
File photo of Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre (R) and Salvatore Girone (L), accused of killing two Indian fishermen, arriving at Ciampino airport near Rome (AFP)

Italy will have to return its marine Salvatore Girone, held in India on murder charges, in case the court finds Indian jurisdiction over the case, the United Nations (UN) tribunal said on Tuesday.

“Italy and India shall cooperate, including in proceedings before the Supreme Court of India, to achieve a relaxation of the bail conditions of Sergeant Girone so as to give effect to the concept of considerations of humanity, so that Sergeant Girone, while remaining under the authority of the Supreme Court of India, may return to Italy during the present arbitration,” the order said.

Girone, along with another Italian marine, Massimiliano Latorre, is facing charges of murdering two fishermen in 2012 off the Kerala coast.

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Latorre is back in Italy after suffering a stroke in 2014 while Girone is staying in Italian embassy in The Hague. The two countries have agreed to arbitration by the UN court.

“The Arbitral Tribunal confirms Italy’s obligation to return Sergeant Girone to India in case the Arbitral Tribunal finds that India has jurisdiction over him in respect of the ‘Enrica Lexie’ incident,” the order said.

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It further said that the Arbitral Tribunal has decided that Italy and India each shall report to it on “compliance with these provisional measures and authorises the President to seek information from the parties if no such report is submitted within three months from the date of this order and thereafter as he may consider appropriate.”

On Monday, Italian foreign ministry said that the UN tribunal has ruled in favour of Girone by allowing him to leave for Italy while India maintained that the tribunal left it to the Supreme Court to fix the precise conditions of Girone’s bail and noted that while the marine may return to Italy during the present arbitration, he would remain under the authority of India’s apex court.

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