New Delhi: An international tribunal dealing with the killing of two Indian fishermen in 2012 by two Italian marines has upheld the conduct of the Indian authorities over the incident, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.
MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the tribunal upheld the conduct of the Indian authorities under the provisions of the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea).
India accused the two Italian marines on board the MV Enrica Lexie, an Italian flagged oil tanker, of shooting dead two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 15, 2012.
The Arbitral Tribunal was constituted under Annex VII of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on June 26, 2015 on the request of Italy in respect of the dispute.
Srivastava said the tribunal held that the actions of the Italian military officers and, consequently, Italy breached India’s freedom of navigation under UNCLOS Article 87(1)(a) and 90.
“The Tribunal observed that India and Italy had concurrent jurisdiction over the incident and a valid legal basis to institute criminal proceedings against the marines,” Srivastava said at an online media briefing.
“The Tribunal rejected Italy’s claim of compensation for the detention of the marines. However, it found that the immunities enjoyed by the marines as State officials operate as an exception to the jurisdiction of the Indian courts and, hence, preclude them to judge the marines,” he added.
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