The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pleased to advise that the Arbitral Tribunal constituted in The Hague pursuant to Annex VII to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea signed on 10 December 1982 to resolve the dispute between Italy and India over the “Enrica Lexie” incident, which occurred on 15 February 2012 in the Indian Ocean, has published the dispositif of the Award. The MFA recalls that Italian Marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone returned from India to their country, respectively, on 13 September 2014 and 28 May 2016, and that the Arbitral Tribunal was called upon to rule on the allocation of criminal jurisdiction, and not on the merit of the events occurred on 15 February 2012 for purposes of ascertaining criminal responsibility. Italy and India committed themselves to exercising criminal jurisdiction, according to the allocation by the Tribunal as between the Parties.
The dispositif of the Award contains the following relevant decisions, namely:
· Italian Marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone are entitled to immunity from the jurisdiction of Indian courts in relation to the acts occurred during the incident of 15 February 2012; India is therefore precluded from exercising its jurisdiction over the Marines. The Arbitral Tribunal has therefore agreed on the Italian position that the Marines, being members of the Italian armed forces in the official exercise of their duties, cannot be tried by Indian courts.
· Taking note of the commitment expressed during the proceedings, Italy has to resume its criminal investigation into the Enrica Lexie incident, that had been opened by the Rome Public Prosecutor; India, on its part, is required to cease exercising its jurisdiction on the Marines.
· Italy breached the freedom of navigation provisions (articles 87 and 90) of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. As a result of the breach, India is entitled to payment of compensation in connection with loss of life, physical harm, material damage to property and moral harm suffered by the captain and other crew members of the Indian fishing boat “St. Anthony”. The Arbitral Tribunal invites the two Parties to consult with a view to reaching agreement on the amount of compensation due.
Italy stands ready to fulfill the decision taken by the Arbitral Tribunal, in a spirit of cooperation.
The Ministry wishes to emphasize that the Award of the Tribunal does not make any determination of criminal responsibility in connection with the incident, which it will now be for the Italian judicial authorities alone to ascertain.
Acknowledgements are due to the legal team for the effective work performed in the protection of Italian legal interests before Indian and international courts and tribunals.