Article 603 of the code of criminal procedure does not establish that the court of appeal has an obligation to repeat the hearing of witnesses in the case of reformatio in peius of an acquittal of first instance. In the view of the Court of Cassation, this circumstance not necessarily infringes the right to a fair trial enshrined in Article 6 of the ECHR. According to the interpretation given by the European Court of Human Rights in the case Dan v. Moldova (judgment of 5 July 2011), the obligation of renewing the hearing of witnesses is not an absolute one, but exists only under certain circumstances. The principles affirmed in the above decision of the European Court can become immediately enforceable in Italy by interpreting Article 603 accordingly.
Decision of the Court of Cassation, V Criminal Section, No. 38085 of 5 July 2012