This Article is From May 03, 2016

Italy Must Return Marine If India's Jurisdiction Is Proved: UN Court

Italy Must Return Marine If India's Jurisdiction Is Proved: UN Court

UN arbitration court has ruled that India should release an Italian marine who was detained in 2012.


  • India and Italy should cooperate before Supreme Court, said UN court
  • 2 marines were held for shooting Kerala fishermen, one already sent home
  • Case moved to arbitration cout in The Hague after diplomatic row
The Hague: Italy will have to send back its marine Salvatore Girone, accused of killing Indian fishermen, if India's jurisdiction over him is established by its Supreme Court, a UN arbitration court said today.

In its order, the tribunal also said "Italy and India shall cooperate, including in proceedings before the Supreme Court of India", so that Girone, while remaining under the Supreme Court's authority, may return to Italy.

Salvatore Girone and another marine, Massimiliano Latorre, were arrested in India in 2012 after two fishermen were shot dead off the coast of Kerala. Italy says the marines, who were escorting an oil tanker, mistook the fishermen for pirates. It also insists that the vessel, MV Enrica Lexie, was in international waters at the time.

Massimiliano Latorre returned to Italy after he suffered a stroke in 2014 but India refused to allow his comrade Girone to leave the country. He is staying at the Italian embassy in Delhi.

After a huge diplomatic row, India and Italy agreed last year to move the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague and abide by its decisions.
Yesterday, a tribunal order led to conflicting claims by India and Italy on what it meant.

Italy claimed that the court had said New Delhi must release Girone at the earliest. But India asserted that Italy was misrepresenting the order, that the tribunal had asked the Supreme Court to decide on the conditions of Girone's bail.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told Parliament today that the tribunal had confirmed Italy's obligation to return Sergeant Girone.

"We see the tribunal's order not just as a recognition of India's consistent positions and key arguments but also as an affirmation of the authority of the Supreme Court of India," he said, speaking on behalf of Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, who is unwell.