KOCHI: Even as the arbitral tribunal under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), upheld India’s conduct against the two Italian marines who were accused of shooting down two Indian fishermen in Kerala in 2012, legal experts say India has lost its right to prosecute the marines on charges of murder in the country.“As per reports, it’s understood that the international tribunal has only upheld India’s conduct so far in the case as both India and Italy have jurisdictional right over the incident.
But at the same time, the tribunal has held that the marines — Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre — have immunity as state officials and they can’t be tried in India,” said senior lawyer V J Mathew, who was the then counsel for Italian ship owner Dolphin Tankers in Supreme Court and Kerala High Court.
“An FIR was registered at Neendakara police station against the marines, charging them with murder. India’s main prayer was that it had jurisdiction over the case as the fishermen killed were Indian and the case must be tried as per Indian laws. Our prayer right from the beginning was that India has no legal right to try the marines as they were on board an Italian flagged vessel and only Italy has the right to proceed against them as per their laws,” he said. “Moreover, a compensation of `1 crore each has already been paid to the family of the deceased fishers,” he added.