This document will analyse "ANNEX 4" attached to Indian documents filed at the International Tribunal for the Law Of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg on 6 August, 2015
With the release of the Indian documents, from the safe where they had been held since the beginning, what has surely received greater prominence in the Italian press were the autopsies, for the obvious reason that they provided objective data that was easily understandable: the size of a bullet.
This analysis obviously lacks the skills to question any forensic aspect (no professional in this field questioned so far wanted to comment this document) so we shall limit the analysis to the measurements of the two bullets found, the first in the body of elder fisherman Valentine and the second in young Pinku.
The size of the bullet found cannot be disputed; for calibre and length its corresponds an 7.62x54R ammo.
It is not a bullet issued to the Italian team, it has nothing to do with the weapons seized on the Enrica Lexie, and it is not even standard Western equipment.
This is a Russian manufactured bullet, even designed in the late 1800’s, which underwent further evolution and can be attributed to cartridge 7.62x54R. This round can be fired by firearms indeed widespread, either used by regular armed forces or illegally or even by pirates.
For example in India weapons suitable for this cartridge are known to be manufactured by the state factory "Ordnance Factory Tiruchirappalli". (see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_equipment_of_the_Indian_Army)
We do not wish to speculate that this bullet was fired by a weapon of the Indian, Sri Lankan or any other armed forces. Our aim is to show that this bullet could not be fired by weapons issued to the Italian military escort team protecting MV Enrica Lexie as all these had a 5.56mm calibre.
In this case the size of the bullet is different:
We are faced with a compressed bullet, deformed after impacting against very strong bone, as confirmed by the following passage:
The penetration wound size, due to bullet entrance, is incompatible with the entry hole of a calibre 5.56mm bullet: Lacerated penetrating wound of entrance 2.7x1.6cm (27x16mm)
Both bullets have a size differing from those that can be fired by the weapons supplied to the Italian military.
In the first case (Jelestine) it is evident to the naked eye.
Since the autopsies were carried out after the incident on 16th February, this means that the two Italian military should not have even been arrested, when a simple check on the calibre of the weapons available on the ship would have been enough to clear them.
But the autopsies were not disclosed and on 17.02.2012 Ms N.G. Nisha, from the FSL, carries out an inspection on the St Antony fishing boat, recovers the fragments of two bullets, decides with a naked eye (by estimating hundredths of a millimetre with a tape measure) that these fragments have a 5.56mm calibre. (See Annex 8)
The two Italian military on 19.02.2012 were not acquitted but arrested merely on this basis.
We will find these two bullet fragments also in the Ballistic Expert Report of Annex 7, signed by the same Ms N.G. Nisha, where she states “It is not possible to opine” - whether these fragments came from the rifles seized and had a 5.56mm calibre - "through any of the firearms or spare barrels involved in this case or not”. (See Annex 7)
In fact, as may be read in the Ballistic Expert Report, the fragments of one bullet weigh 0.8 grams and those of the other bullet weigh between 0.4 and 0.1 grams.
It is not clear how on 17.02.2012 Ms N.G. Nisha may conclude that the calibre was 5.56mm, by even assessing that with a tape measure as shown by videos.
Again it should be noted that from the start the aim of the investigation was to nail the Italian military by creating documents, apparently technical in nature, but with unfounded conclusions.
The document which would have immediately cleared the Italian military Italian, the post-mortem reports of Annex 4, was never disclosed. We have it now only because of the judicial transparency of the ITLOS in Hamburg.