This document will analyse "ANNEX 2" attached to Indian documents filed at the International Tribunal for the Law Of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg on 6 August, 2015
ANNEX 2 concerns the first “recited” (oral) witness, and is made to the Police by Mr. Freddy Bosco, the master of the vessel to his return to the port of Neendakara.
The time of accident
The landing is at around 11:00 PM IST, in presence of a large number of onlookers and local media to which, getting down to the ground, Mr.Freddy releases his declarations.
Spontaneous declarations made in front of microphones, cameras and witnesses, in the presence of a graduated police officer, and recorded by the VENAD News in a video re-released by the indian television network and published the following day on YOUTUBE.COM address:
youtube.com/watch?v=Ya48kLyjyB4 (from minute 2'05" to follow)
(Video now removed from Youtube. If for some reason you want to see it contact me)
I have translated the part of the video with the reconstruction of the incident from the Malayalam language, Bosco's language.
The translation that later was repeated, verified and confirmed by countless individuals (journalists and TV stations which re-launched the news in July 2013).
The shooting against the fishing boat St.Antony took place, according to the master of the boat, about at 9:30 PM IST hours.
Note how, after Mr.Freddy Bosco said the shooting occurred at 9:30 PM IST, one of those present in the video asks - "but did it not take place at 5:00 PM?" - Bosco repeats: - "No, at 9:30 PM”
The words with which he opens the accident reconstruction are exactly: "When it was around 9:30 PM I heard a huge noise..."
The hot statements of Mr.Freddy Bosco made to the press in the presence of the Police.
Hot statements by Freddy Bosco
Hot statements by Mr.Freddy Bosco translated:
(The translation has been verified several times by various Italian and Indian sources.The Italian translation produced by RAI (Italian Radio Television) was broadcast on July 3, 2013. The video of the transmission is available, if for some reason you want to view it, contact me)
It would therefore be evident from the hot statements of Bosco, the main witness of the shooting, that the staff aboard the Enrica Lexie cannot be charged any responsibility for the double murder. The accident of the oil tanker takes place between 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM ELT (See Report of Italian Marines Chief) and the shooting against the St.Antony at 9:30 PM IST
At this point Mr.Freddy Bosco, who still knows nothing of the accident occurred to Enrica Lexie, went to the local police station to release its FIR; that same police station at 5:40 PM IST provided to the Coast Guard the details of the accident of the St.Antony getting all those relating to the accident of the Italian ship.
If the statements made to the press a few minutes before by the master of the vessel had been confirmed:
someone in the Police station in Neendakara:
- - should admit that he had missed the real culprits of the double murder, unable to stop the incidents involving, with increasing frequency, fishermen and merchant shipping;
but above all:
- - should explain under what: an oil tanker of more than 104,000 tons. that does not beat Indian flag and is sailing outside the territorial waters, its crew and even the military unit of a NATO country operating in the field of Operation Ocean Shield [NATO] and EUNAVFOR - Operation Atalanta [UE] (under UN auspices) is located at that time in Kochi, at anchor under military custody.
From my notes:
Old readings, marginal and some without feedback, but useful for better understanding of the background and the state of Mr.Freddy Bosco mood when he went to the police:
- - At the time of the accident the conduct of the boat was entrusted to Jelestine (one of the victims) that had no "license"; and the crew member who had it, was sleeping. (Rohit Raj on Deccan Chronicle of April 28, 2012);
- - The St.Antony fishing boat registered in India is authorized to operate only within the territorial waters, within 12 nautical miles (Samir Saran of The Hindu of July 2, 2012);
- - Registered in Tamil Nadu (editor's note: where Bosco is resident) under local fisheries law and not on the national nautical registers (under the Merchant Shipping Act of 1958) and was not flying the Indian flag, to St.Antony would not be allowed to navigate out of the territorial waters of the Indian Union State in which it was registered (in SUPREME COURT oF INDIA - SLP (C) NO. 20370 of 2012 - para 29)
A few minutes in front of the authorities are enough to forget what was claimed shortly before to the media, Mr.Freddy Bosco signed the FIR: The accident happened at 4:30 PM IST
As regards the defense of the case, this deposition is considered false, impossible to get confused (at 4:30 PM it is full dayligth, at 9:30 PM it is night), the witness proves unreliable.
It is disturbing that:
- - The testimony by Bosco made in the presence of a graduated police officer, in front of dozens of people is not reflected in the Indian judicial documentation;
- - The same Bosco in later years will never mention this witness, insisting several times with statements to the press that the shooting against the St.Antony took place at 4:30 PM IST, except then, facing clear evidence, candidly admitting on July 2013 ANSA: he had said yes PM 9:30 IST, but cannot explain why.
We are facing a blatant concealment of exculpatory evidence of the two accused, concealment made by Bosco and by the State Police of Kerala which operating as a state institution invested with the judicial police function, is mandated to provide all the information in its possession to the judiciary, keeping the facts in a detached position and "impartial".
The place of accident
But from the statement, though false or misleading, may come other investigative insights to reconstruct the events.
In passage No.2, that I've already shown you, as well as setting the time, Bosco has given us a first indication of the area where the incident took place ("At 4:30 PM we reached west of Kayamkulam")
In this passage Mr.Freddy declares that at the time of the accident, the St.Antony was sailing toward south.
With this declaration, Mr.Freddy sets the distance between the accident site and the port of Neendakara (31 NM).
We try a test (the position of the Enrica Lexie at 4:30 PM IST is known and certain).
Data as precise as improbable, those provided to the Police by Mr.Freddy, that at 4:30 PM IST places himself at a point far from the position where the incident of the Enrica Lexie is taking place; with course and speed that got him away from the Italian ship without any chance to cross it.
Proceeding south he would never have "approached" the Enrica Lexie, who proceeded to 330° (as confirmed by the alarm SSAS that detects it automatically), but he would have constantly moved away.
We will return in more detail on this aspect by discussing the ANNEX 48 (Scene of Crime).
In other statements made to the press he will put himself in front of Alappuzha (17/2/2012), Chertala (3/3/2012), Kollam (21/3/2012). Never these positions never coincide with that of Lexie at 4:30 PM IST, always distant tens of Km.
Please note that although on board the vessel there is a GPS device, strangely the acts show that never, in any occasion Mr.Freddy has indicated the crash site providing geographic coordinates to the police, the media and the judiciary.
Mr.Freddy Bosco is unreliable, his statements have no value in court and should not even enter.
The incident mode
In the 'hot' statements made by Bosco and recorded in the video we mentioned earlier (see: paragraph 'The time of accident'), the narration of the events starts, according to our translation from Malayalam to English, with "a huge noise", which the 'independent translation' provided by RAI in Italian becomes “un grande frastuono” (a huge uproar).
Either you start to shoot from 120 mt., according to the Indian version (see: ANNEX 48 - Scene of Crime) or from 450 mt. as reported in the Italian one (the 500 yards of the Latorre report): the firing of a weapon in cal. 5.56mm., as those supplied to our military in no case may be perceived in open sea as "a huge noise". The causes of the huge noise will be sought, as we will do later, exploring other hypotheses.
And if this perceptive discrepancy doesn’t convince you, here's now another one, this time objective:
In the FIR signed a few minutes later, Freddy's "huge noise" disappears, giving place to a more ambiguous "sound" a second significant discrepancy between the two versions.
Mr. Bosco declares that the fire against the St.Antony "continued approximately for two minutes", and that "The bullets came in falling like torrential rain".
Sure cartridges on board were not lacking, the indian Police seized more than eight thousand of them (See: ANNEX 5 - Search for weapons); each marine was carrying a loaded firearm and six other shippers from 30 shots; the assault rifle Beretta SC 70/90 has a rate of fire of 670 strokes per minute; under these conditions the two marines could certainly pour in "two minutes" 420 shots at their disposal: "as a torrential rain" in the Indian Ocean.
In the reality of the facts, as reported by the same indians (ANNEX 5), about 20 shots were fired: 12 by Latorre and 8 with another rifle (presumably Girone).
Including at least 6 of those exploded during the first two bursts of warning (given by way of prudential a 'burst' consists of a minimum of three strokes) which, according to the Latorre report were fired into the water when the unknown boat was at 500 and 300 yards (a fact that is confirmed in the interview Noviello - Radio Capital by the only Italian officer on the bridge, an eyewitness of the facts and of whose testimony among the Indian cards there is no trace).
To shoot the remaining 14 rounds (maybe less) would have been enough a burst during less than a couple of seconds, but we have to exclude that things have gone as well, according to the story of the same Mr.Freddy Bosco.
It remains to understand how 14 rounds (maybe less) exploded in 2 minutes (on average one every 7-10 seconds) can give make the idea of a torrential rain of blows.
Perception and cadence of shot: something is not making sense.
Then we have that first single shot that, according to Bosco 'opens up' the shooting, reaching the helmsman head.
With an assault rifle in cal. 5.56 from over 100 meters between sailing boats (relatively stable the tanker, much less the fishing boat), regardless of the use or non-use of optical system, it would be, for reasons of ballistic instability, an impossible shot, as said by people much more competent than me, and, among others, for the evidence we have, really in contrast to the "deterrent fire", those 'bursts' that our military claim to have exploded in the accident early stage and that no testimony refutes.
Accuracy and firing modes: something does not come back.
And when the discrepancies and omissions of factors such as: perception, rate of fire, precision, and mode of a shootout offer so many and such grounds of doubt, the only certainty that gives us the testimony of Freddy is the story of another film,' nothing like they have witnessed on board the Italian ship.
Failure to identify
The topic “identification” requires two premises:
- Red and Black are common colors in the liveries of many trading companies, anyone can easily check the Internet;
- The St.Antony is a type of boat called "traditional fishing boat", sold to fishermen with state providences. All identical except for the bright colors and equipment suited to the different types of fishing and fish, you can cross thousands of them along the coasts of India.
We know several details of the boat that approached the tanker with optimal conditions of light and visibility, some of which supported by multiple sources, limiting the discussion to these and ignoring all the others we can say that:
- - It comes under the tanker from " starboard bow", that is, comes to meet the front, slightly on the right, and farther aft, or from the back side of the ship;
- - We know one thing about the big ship approaching the St.Antony - the video of Venad News (see: paragraph 'The Time of the incident') and the FIR (ANNEX 2) agree on that -: it was red below and black above. Nothing else. According to statements made by the survivors, the crew was sleeping on deck except the man at the helm but he will also be the first to be shot to death.
- - While approaching, “at least” two people observed it with the binoculars: Noviello and Girone (in the other depositions while providing details which are hardly visible to the naked eye from 200 meters. there is no mention ever in binoculars);
- - A few people standing can be seen on board (irrelevant now if they were armed or not).
Given as true all of these conditions, it seems very strange that:
- - no one from the tanker identifies by name (visible) the boat approaching but will just describe it from its color (and does not indicate 'white'); they can see on board several crew members who definitely are not sleeping;
- - from the fishing boat, they can’t see the ship name while approaching or leaving.
Although admitting they are sleeping during the first phase, we know from FIR (ANNEX 2) that, certainly, the survivors are awake in the second. As to say after the shootings, escaping the immediate danger, none of the nine fishermans looks in the direction of the ship and reads the name that hangs on the transom.
Not only the two versions do not match between them at some point, but we are asked to accept things that we don't consider normal or credible.
From my notes:
On the 29th of November 2012, more than nine months after the accident, on the site BLOOMBERG is published, a long analysis of Alan Katz, with the title: "Brother Shot Dead Fishing Tests Armed Guards'Accountability".
After the usual story of how the accident took place, and to clarify once and for all the Italian responsibility, Mr.Freddy finally reveals to the Americans and to the world something of the story until that moment unpublished:
“Standing to take the wheel and turn the boat away from the merchant ship, Mr.Freddy glanced at the stern of the black-and-red tanker as it passed a bit more than a football-field's length away. “NAPLES,” he read, the home port of the " Enrica Lexie.”
Mr.Freddy Bosco here provides an indication of overwhelming guilt:
Watching it getting away, he was unfortunately not able to read the name of the ship, but he managed to read NAPOLI... and this isn’t easy to do at all. Try it, with the help of the image.
For the umpteenth time Mr.Freddy proves to be one of the most unreliable and disqualified witnesses of the planet, keep in mind that by his words and by statements such as this, depends a political-diplomatic crisis between States involving about one billion and four hundred million of people. Unbelievable.
The unusual emergency request
After the shooting, conducted boat and crew in a safe place, discovered the death of two comrades, Mr.Freddy just has to raise the alarm and call for help. He could contact the Coast Guard using the on-board radio, on the emergency frequency (Channel 16) or using his mobile phone, contact the police by calling 100 (the equivalent in Kerala of the North American emergency telephone number 911). Freddy called Prabhu.
This is a big news:
In the acts of the various criminal and civil cases held in Kollam, Trivandrum and Delhi or when the 27.04.2012 it was reached an out of court agreement (Lok Adalath) and receives a cheque from the Italian shipowner, Mr.Freddy always appears as the "owner" (see: High Court of Kerala CMCP No. 16 of 2012 and other), instead in ANNEX 2, he declares to the Police that the owner of the St.Antony is Prabhu.
At this point it would be useful to understand who is actually the owner of St.Antony, not so much to understand to whom Mr.Freddy lied, if the courts or the police, but because if Prabhu turned out as the real owner of St.Antony, this also would change the legal framework concerning its release from seizure and subsequent sinking.
The lack of custody of the exhibit from the Court, allowed the sinking, therefore the inability for the technicians of the defense to perform feedback, checks and inspections. so far we have been led to believe that the "St.Antony", for decision of the Court of Kollam, had been returned to Bosco because "his only source of income" and from him then left to sink.
But if it had been returned to Prabhu, the rightful owner who rents to fishermen, what interest could he ever he have to sink it, depriving himself of a good property and a source of income? Then, should we necessarily assume that Prabhu was aware of the need to cancel the traces of the shooting.
Then was it Prabhu who contacted the Police giving alarm? No!
According to the chargesheet, the indictment drawn up by the Coastal Police Neendakara at the conclusion of the preliminary investigation (ANNEX 3), it was CW-12 to contact CW-57. Or by replacing the names to the numbers: it was Alphonse Philip (CW-12) around 17:30 IST who informed the SI (sub-inspector) G. Shaji (CW-57) of the Police of Neendakara by providing cryptic information. And it was not Prabhu to inform Alphonse Philip, but Aloysious.
In short here is the entire phone chain as it is rebuilt by the police in Annex 3 (Mr.Freddy is CW-1).
So it's not Bosco to inform the police or the Coast Guard, but someone else who provides 'fourth hand' information, not for nothing defined cryptic by the same Police.
The latter without making any check, turns the information directly to the Coast Guard (17: 40 IST) and the Kochi Navy, starting the chain of events described in ANNEX 1 (Diary of Events).
At this point, to understand if in the minutes following the accident the mobile phones on board of the St. Anthony worked, is an aspect that is anything but secondary.
In a group interview released by the "survivors" two days after the facts, on the 17th of February to The Hindu newspaper, the fishermen (despite the evidence now finally clearly established) claimed (incorrectly, lying, or, worse, telling the truth) that the accident had occurred at about 14 NM from the coast (which they consider to be their territorial waters, should be to understand why), well away from the place where the accident at Lexie occurs 20,5 NM off the coast.
In support of their argument they bring solid evidence:
- - the fact that their mobile phones were working, proves it.
Note how in this interview, the same journalist, while charging the death of the two fishermen at the Enrica Lexie (from the morning of the previous day the Coast Guard was spreading this version of events), indicates that the accident occurred in the evening, maybe having news of the statements of Bosco made at the time of the landing at Neendakara.
In addition, Mr. Freddy says that the ship "aggressor" was inshore off the route normally used for the transit of commercial ships (that is moved to East, even more close to the coasts of Kerala). From these statements it is even more evident that the St.Antony cannot cross the Enrica Lexie at 4:30 PM IST, 20.5 NM from the coast.
Apparently inexplicable is the reason why:
- after the shooting, Mr. Bosco, rather than to the Authority, raises the alarm by calling, with the VHF, Prabhu, the owner of the fishing boat (See Annex 2);
- after being informed of the incident at the fishing boat, Prabhu doesn’t raise directly the alarm but calls Aloysious, who calls Alphonse Philip, who finally relates everything to G. Shaji, S. I. (Sub Ispector) at Coastal Police Station, Neendakara (See Annex 3);
- after the shooting, with two dead people on the boat, the on-board radio operating and operating mobile phone, after having talked with Prabhu and during the 5-6 hours of navigation needed to get back to Neendakara, no one, neither Freddy nor any other member of the crew, contacts the Police or the Coast Guard to provide indications, receive information or instructions, etc.;
- after having received “summary” information (17:30 IST) the Police raises the alarm to the ICG and the Navy in Kochi (17:40 IST). During the entire search and in spite of knowing that the boat was hit, and could be in trouble, no Authorities tries to get in contact with the fishing boat (act don't report any communication) in order to obtain clarifications useful for the tracing the responsible, the conditions of the vessel, the location, etc. - No one goes to meet the boat to provide relief.
No one seems to be interested in the St.Anthony and its nine survivors until the return at Neendakara, shortly before 23:00 IST, waiting on the pier the police and a few hundred friends, onlookers and journalists.
And again I find myself having to detect a strange coincidence:
When Alphonse Philip at 17:30 IST, contacts Neendakara Coastal Police Station, finally launching the alarm, to pick it up is G. Shaji SI (Sub-Inspector).
When around 22:30 IST Freddy lands from the fishing boat at Neendakara and releases his “hot statement" (See: Video on 'The hot statements by Freddy Bosco'), the Police officer always present during the statements of Bosco while claiming he was shot at 21:30 IST is still a 'sub-inspector'.
We have to assume that it is the same person: the one informed by Alphonse Philip at 17:40 IST (CW-57 of ANNEX 3) and the one that goes to the dock at 23:00 IST about to welcome the St.Antony; the one who attends the testimony given to the media by Freddy Bosco and hear him saying and reaffirming that the shooting occurred at 21:30 IST; the same that shortly after, on the premises of the Police Station, listens to him while declaring that the St.Antony got shot at 16:30 IST.
It is the same police to write that the information is made in a "cryptic" way by the fourth person bouncing on the phone the news about the accident, but this does not prevent them from granting him the maximum confidence and giving immediate feedback to information. Immediately retransmitted to the ICG in the form of 'research note' without any verification.
But when a few hours later the same police has the opportunity to hear from the voice of the person directly involved, the eye witness made for the first time, just back to the ground, when not being aware of other facts (the accident at Lexie) provided by his point of view the 'authentic' recostruction of the facts to the media, this is totally ignored, and the Police reports never mention the contradictions on the time of the shooting.
Here we want to argue that the Bosco statements are actually without any feedback that is verifiable, an inextricable "black hole".
It does not hold, all contrasts with everything from both the logical and the factual point of wiew.
- Contradiction - Bosco statements to the authorities are in contradiction with what he says to witnesses, media and authorities (the police officer) when in port;
- Failure - The authorities fail to record the contradictory statements by Bosco, even though they are well aware;
- Contradiction - The geographical location of St.Antony at the time of the shots, as indicated by Bosco in his statement to the police puts it, as is easily verified, a lot SOUTH and in the opposite direction to the Enrica Lexie position at the time of the shooting. It is useful to remember that in later statements made to the media, Bosco will give at least three other positions, all of which are incompatible with the Lexie tens of kilometers;
- Contradiction - the Bosco statements to the authorities about the shooting are in contradiction with the later results of investigation. Distances, time, accuracy, methods and perceptions about the shooting remain free of feedback;
- Logical vulnus - Free of plausible explanations for optimal lighting and visibility conditions, the mutual lack of identification between the boats in the stages preceding and following the incident;
- Logical vulnus - If it were true that the St.Antony was shot at 4:30 PM IST, none of the fishermen in five hours called the authorities, despite "phones that were taking" and the onboard radio (VHS ) functioning. Only Bosco called Prabhu who now we find to be the "Owner of the St.Antony's Boat". It's absurd that after the attack with two deaths on board, no one from St.Antony warns the authorities directly.
- Logical vulnus - If it were true that the St.Antony was shot at 4:30 PM IST and Bosco warns Prabhu who warns not the authorities but some Aloysious who in turn warns a certain Alphonse Philip who finally alerts the authorities at 5:40 PM IST, but in a "cryptic" way as indicated by the Police.
- Logical vulnus - From the statements it turns out that the owner of the St.Antony is Prabhu, and then the fishing boat St.Antony after the seizure is necessarily returned to him, it’s not clear his interest in sinking the St.Antony, if not to erase the traces of the shooting, making him an active subject of the story and not just a "rent boats".
Among versions that change in a matter of a few minutes, contradictory statements, in some cases disproved by the same investigations, sometimes simply devoid of logical and rational explanations.
As in the specific episode of the distress call, when the victim doesn’t make a choice of common sense and the authorities accept the intermediation in informing the criminal act, leaving enter the story, as actors, three subjects (Prabhu, Aloysius and Philip Alphonse) whose role is unknown and that manage in the first person, and we do not know how, the information about what happened. Without even feeling the need to give explicit mention in the Chargesheet (ANNEX 3).
Mr. Bosco is once again unreliable, the behaviour of the Police inexplicably superficial, the investigation once again clearly prejudicial and omissive.