Decision of the Court of Cassation, I Criminal Section, No. 14510 of 28 February 2014

The case concerned a Tunisian national who was suspected of being member of a criminal organization based in Libya. He was pursued in Italy for having abandoned a group of Syrian migrants off the coast of Italy in international waters, where they had been later rescued and transferred in a port of Sicily by a Lebanese ship. In order to affirm the jurisdiction of Italy it was irrelevant for the Court that the conduct of the accused had occurred beyond territorial waters, because it aimed, since the beginning, at facilitating the illegal entry in Italy of immigrants, exploiting the obligation of rescue at sea established by the pertinent treaties. Moreover, under Article 6 of the Italian criminal code, an offence is regarded as being committed in the national territory if it resulted in an event that occurs in Italy. On the other hand, Italy had jurisdiction over the case also on the ground of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the implementing national legislation because, under the Convention, the concept of transnational organized crime includes, among others, the offences committed by an organized group in a country that have substantial effects in another.