Who is in charge of the iuventa case? Court of Cassation to clarify questions of territorial competence.

March 15, 2023

Since the defence kept revealing further fundamental deficiencies in the overall construction of the indictment, today the question whether the indictment’s premise can stand at all was once again in the foreground. At today’s hearing, the court in Trapani took a position on some of these points.

While the court confirmed Italy’s jurisdiction over sea rescue operations conducted in international waters, it is currently still not completely clear whether the prosecution in Trapani even has the competence over the whole case. However, the court abstained from ruling and instead decided to refer the matter to Italy’s highest court, the Court of Cassation, for clarification.

This is not just about procedural issues. The moment some integral parts of the indictment are confronted with the actual facts of reality, the construction of an alleged “great crime” collapses. The prosecution, despite the years of enormous effort this investigation has taken, has so far failed to substantiate its case and prevent its erosion.

Although this fundamental question remains open until the decision of the highest court, the trial in Trapani will continue on March 24. Too many other procedural questions still await clarification.  

Sascha Girke, iuventa-defendant: “It seems that no one wants to take responsibility. In our trial, it is suddenly not even clear who has to prosecute our alleged crime. And at the same time, policymakers are trying to shirk their responsibility by shifting it onto those they hypocritically claim to protect: the people on the move. And while the responsibility roulette continues to be played here, people continue to die incessantly.”