Decision of the Court of Naples, Office of the Judge for preliminary investigations, done on 23 June 2011 and filed on 19 January 2012

The Judge for preliminary investigations at the Court of Naples acquitted 31 persons who had collected funds in Italy to support the activity of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (L.T.T.E.), also known as “Tamil Tigers”. These persons were charged with the criminal offence of association for the purpose of international terrorism, under Article 271 bis of the Italian criminal code. The principal legal basis for this decision was the distinction between terrorist acts committed in time of peace and in time of war. Moreover, the 1999 New York Convention against the Financing of Terrorism was not applicable in the case, since it does not apply to acts of violence committed in wartime (Article 21). For the Judge, there was not sufficient evidence that the “Tamil Tigers” should be regarded, in international law, as a terrorist organization or, rather, as a national liberation, or an insurgent movement.