India says will abide by International Tribunal’s decision in Italian marines case

Monday, Aug 24, 2015,22:23 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | India today said it will abide by the decision of the International Tribunal on the Laws of the Sea in the Italian marines case in which both the parties have been asked to suspend all court proceedings and refrain from initiating new ones.
”As a State Party to UN Convention on the Laws of the Sea(UNCLOS) and as a responsible member of the international community that has consistently stood by its international obligations, India will continue to abide by the Tribunal’s decisions, including the present one on Provisional Measures,”
Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said here in reply to a question on today’s decision of the court at Hambur in Germany.
He said  Italy had approached the Tribunal for two provisional measures: that India should refrain from taking or  enforcing any judicial or administrative measures against the two Italian marines and from exercising any form of jurisdiction over the incident; and for the return of Sgt. Girone to Italy and continued stay of Sgt. Latorre in Italy throughout the proceedings of the Annex VII Arbitral Tribunal.
Mr Swarup said while the judgment was being studied in detail, it was clear that the Tribunal did not  consider the two provisional measures sought by Italy to be appropriate as that would  have pre-judged the merits of the case and would not have equally preserved the rights  of both parties until the constitution of the Annex VII Tribunal under UNCLOS, which  will decide the issue of jurisdiction,” he said.
”The Tribunal has instead prescribed a provisional measure in which both Italy and India should suspend all Court proceedings and shall refrain from initiating new ones which might aggravate or extend the dispute submitted to Annex VII Tribunal or prejudice its decision on jurisdiction,” he said.
The International Tribunal has fixed September 24 as the next date of hearing on whether the parties are ready to opt for an  arbitration court to settle the dispute.
It was on February 12, 2012, that the two Italian marines, Sergeants Latorre and Girone aboard Enrica Lexie allegedly shot to death two fishermen, opening fire on their boat off the Kerala court. They said they mistook the two fishermen as pirates.
The two accused have been asked to stay in the Italian Embassy premises here but have been allowed to go to Italy on occasions. Latorre was allowed by the Supreme Court to fly home for heart surgery in January, but last month he was allowed by the apex court to go for further six months.