Hamburg: A UN tribunal today asked both India and Italy to "suspend" all court proceedings involving two Italian marines charged with killing of two Indian fishermen in 2012 and also refrain from initiating new ones that might "aggravate or extend" the dispute that triggered a diplomatic row between the two countries.
Hearing Italy's appeal in the case, the President of the International Tribunal on Law of the Sea (ITLOS), Vladimir Golitsyn asked the two countries to submit the initial report in the entire incident by September 24.
Italian Marines Massimiliano Latorre (R) and Salvatore Girone (L) speak to the press at Ciampino airport near Rome, on December 22, 2012. Pic/AFP
The judge said pending a decision by the arbitral tribunal, "Italy and India shall both suspend all court proceedings and shall refrain from initiating new ones which might aggravate or extend the dispute submitted to the...
arbitral tribunal or might jeopardise or prejudice the carrying out of any decision which the arbitral tribunal may render."
He further said, "Italy and India shall each submit to the Tribunal the initial report...not later than 24 September 2015, and authorises the President, after that date, to request such information from the Parties as he may consider appropriate."
The 21-member UN-mandated court located in this German city issued the order with 15 in favour and six against. Unhappy over India's handling of the marines' issue, Italy took the matter to the ITLOS challenging Indian
jurisdiction in the case, sparking a diplomatic row between New Delhi and Rome.
It has pleaded that India must cease to exercise any form of jurisdiction over the Enrica Lexie incident and the Italian marines, including any measure of restraint with respect to Sergeant Latorre and Sergeant Girone.
The two marines, who were on board ship 'Enrica Lexie', are accused of killing two Indian fishermen on February 15, 2012 off the Kerala coast.
ITLOS is an independent judicial body established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to adjudicate disputes arising out of the interpretation and application of the Convention.