Friday, May 27

Hearing against Salvini in Palermo for blocking the landing of the Open Arms


Correspondent in Rome

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In the bunker classroom where the first great trial of Palermo (Sicily) was held, instructed by magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, against Cosa Nostra with 475 indicted for various crimes, today the accused is former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. It is the preliminary hearing of the trial in which the leader of the League is accused of the alleged crime of kidnapping people and denial of official documents, by not allowing the disembarkation, on the island of Lampedusa, to 151 immigrants from the Spanish ship Open Arms , between August 14 and 20, 2019, when he was Minister of the Interior. This morning Salvini arrived at the bunker classroom accompanied by her lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno, senator and former Minister of Public Administration in the first Conte government. To “welcome” him, various associations of the anti-racism movement displayed banners outside the classroom and shouted the slogan “hate process”.

The judge has admitted 18 civil parties – 7 are immigrants from the Open Arms – who have requested to appear at the preliminary hearing. The Open Arms leaders were present in the classroom, with its founder Oscar Camps, who have become a civil party. In a tweet from the NGO, it is stressed that “Salvini caused unnecessary pain and suffering to 151 people aboard the Open Arms exclusively for use in your own election campaign. All this has a price and it is the law that justice is done. Arturo Salerni, one of the lawyers for the civil part, has commented: “It was a real kidnapping of a person.”

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Salvini’s lawyer has reiterated that there was no kidnapping, because Matteo Salvini followed “the decisions adopted by the entire Government in favor of of a public interest to carry out a correct control and management of immigration flows, as well as the full protection of public order ”. Instead, the Prosecutor’s Office accuses Salvini of “abduction of persons aggravated by having been committed by a public official with abuse of the powers inherent to his functions, as well as having been committed even to the detriment of minors.”

Wrongful act

The leader of the League already sat on the dock before a judge in Catania (Sicily), on October 3, who was also accused of the alleged crime of kidnapping people by not allowing the disembarkation of 131 immigrants from the ship of Gregoretti Military Navy at the end of July 2019. On that occasion, the prosecutor asked to archive the case because “there was no kidnapping». But the judge of the preliminary hearing, Nunzio Salpietro, then decided to deepen the case, citing Giuseppe Conte and other ministers, to verify Salvini’s argument: his decision to prevent the disembarkation of immigrants was adopted in agreement with the entire government.

Instead, the difference in this preliminary hearing in Palermo is that the Prosecutor’s Office has no doubts about its decision to accuse Salvini for the alleged crime of kidnapping of people, contributing two letters from the head of the government Conte in which he urged the then Minister of the Interior to disembark the 27 unaccompanied minors as soon as possible because the situation at the Open Arms was already dramatic from a health point of view. The Palermo prosecutor’s office, led by Francesco Lo Voi, has considered that not allowing them to disembark was “an illegal act.”

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Would do it again

Matteo Salvini has reiterated that he acted «to defend the borders of the country“And has returned to his political fight against immigration:” I would do everything the same again, and I will do so as soon as I return to government. ” Salvini appeared on Friday in the Sicilian capital with a mask on which he had an image of Paolo Borsellino printed, which attracted much criticism on social networks. Magistrate Borsellino’s brother, murdered in July 1992 in a mafia attack in which his five bodyguards were also killed, has criticized Salvini: “He instrumentalizes the mask and does everything with the aim of propaganda, it makes me vomit,” he said Salvatore Borsellino.

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