Rome (AP) – An Italian prosecutor told a Sicilian court on Saturday that there was no reason to order the trial of right-wing leader Matteo Salvini, who was accused of kidnapping him for his role in holding migrants rescued on a coast guard during the summer. 2019
Prosecutor Andrea Bonomo advised in a preliminary hearing in Catania that Salvini was pursuing a government policy when he detained 116 migrants aboard the Italian coast guard Gregoretti for about five days off the coast of Sicily.
At the time, Salvini was Italy’s interior minister in a government led by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. He was adamant that other EU countries should accept migrants brought to Italian shores after being rescued from the invisible boats of human traffickers in the Mediterranean, and not leave Italy alone to deal with them.
While the Italian authorities were wondering where the migrants should come from, the 116 people of Gregoretti who were transported from the two boats they rescued, from a fishing boat to an Italian customs police boat. Earlier, 15 minors were allowed to board the ship.
Eventually, the controversy over Gregoretti ended when the magistrates said it could land in the Sicilian city of Augusta and release the passengers.
Senator Salvini, who heads the anti-migrant Liga party, has long argued that he was simply pursuing government policies when he refused to allow Gregoretti to step down.
According to the Italian news agency LaPresse, Bonomo says that the court that should decide on the conviction of Salvini is not called to make a decision: “Is the extension of the stay of migrants morally acceptable?”, Because the court does not provide for “political judgment”.
“All governments shared the idea that other European countries were also responsible, ‘because those (migrants) who arrive in Italy reach Europe,'” Bonomo was quoted as saying.
Bonomo also claims that the safety of migrants aboard the Coast Guard is guaranteed.
At the end of the summer, Salvini withdrew his support for the government, but Conte remained in power, forming another coalition without the League.
The judge’s decision to acquit Salvini of the trial is expected in mid-May.
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