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Statement by Official Spokesperson on the order by the Arbitral Tribunal in the Enrica Lexie Incident

May 02, 2016

  • As you are all aware, the Arbitral Tribunal in the arbitration concerning the Enrica Lexie incident gave its order today. This case, which began in 2012, has been contested in various courts. The two Italian Marines involved have been given bail since 2012 by the Supreme Court of India while proceedings were on. Sergeant Latorre remains on bail in Italy while Sergeant Girone also does so in New Delhi.
  • In 2015, Italy sought international arbitration under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Arbitral Tribunal that was established was requested by Italy to prescribe provisional measures for the duration of the arbitration which is expected to conclude in 2018.
  • In its order today, the Arbitral Tribunal unanimously prescribed that India and Italy would approach the Supreme Court of India for relaxation of bail conditions of Sergeant Girone. While remaining under the authority of the Supreme Court of India, he may return to Italy for the duration of the present arbitration. The Tribunal confirmed Italy’s obligation to return him to India in case it was found that India had jurisdiction over him in respect of the incident.
  • The Tribunal left it to the Supreme Court of India to fix the precise conditions of Sergeant Girone’s bail. This could include him reporting to an authority in Italy designated by our Supreme Court, surrendering his passport to Italian authorities and not leaving Italy without the permission of our Supreme Court. Italy shall apprise our Supreme Court of his situation every three months.
  • Let me also emphasise that the Tribunal placed on record undertakings given by Italy in regard to Sergeant Girone’s return to India. It noted that these undertakings constitute an obligation binding upon Italy under international law. It has also confirmed that Italy is under an obligation to return Sergeant Girone to India if the Tribunal finds that India has jurisdiction over him.
  • The Tribunal considers that provisional measures should not alter the situation where the Supreme Court of India exercises jurisdiction over Sergeant Girone. It has also noted that while Sergeant Girone may return to Italy during the present arbitration, during all this period, he would remain under the authority of the Supreme Court of India.
  • Government is studying the order which was received today. It would, in due course, approach the Hon’ble Supreme Court for its directions on this matter.
  • We believe that Government’s consistent positions and key arguments in this particular case have been recognised by the Tribunal. The authority of the Supreme Court has been upheld. We remain confident that the issue of jurisdiction will be determined in our favour.
New Delhi
May 02, 2016


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