The Palermo Prosecutor’s Office requested the sent to the judgment of the former Minister of the Interior and leader of the League, Matteo Salvini, during the second hearing of the preliminary hearing of the process in which he is accused of kidnapping a person for having blocked the landing of the 147 migrants for 19 days rescued by the ship of the Spanish NGO “Open Arms” in August 2019
After listening to the Palermo prosecutor’s office, who requested the sending to trial and the defense of Salvini, who assured that acted in agreement with the Government of Giuseppe Conte and that its policy of closed ports avoided many shipwrecks, Judge Lorenzo Janelli set the new hearing for next April 17, when the defense will take the floor and there may be a decision on whether to open a trial.
During the process, the judge admitted the municipalities of Palermo and Barcelona as civil parties, along with 21 others, including representatives of the migrants, the founder of the NGO, Oscar Camps, and the head of the mission, Anabel Montes, and humanitarian associations.
Salvini assured that he is not “afraid” after hearing the prosecutor’s request and that he feels very proud of his management, which “was characterized by the results in terms of human lives saved and a decrease in the number of landings,” he said when taking the floor during the preliminary hearing of this process that began on January 9.
During this hearing, the prosecution admitted as material for the process the statements made by the former ministers and former President of the Government Giuseppe Conte in the preliminary hearing of the other Salvini process in Catania for a similar case with the Italian Coast Guard ship ‘Gregoretti’ , considering that in these testimonies “the subject of this trial was introduced”.
The Palermo prosecutor’s office also asked the judge to include in the summary the decision of the UN Human Rights Committee of January 29, 2021 condemning Italy for “not having acted promptly in relation to a rescue event. occurred outside Italian territorial waters “.
According to the media, the prosecution stated in its position that according to the documents “the will of the then Ministry of the Interior to give a port is clear.” “The conclusions to which they lead us, not only the testimonies collected during the investigation by the Court of Ministers of Palermo, but during the trial in Catania, lead us to think that it is not a political act at all … but an administrative act (of the Ministry of the Interior) “, they added.
In August 2019, the then Interior Minister denied for 21 days the disembarkation of about 160 migrants who had been rescued at sea by the Spanish NGO ship. There was offer from the Spanish Government to open a port these migrants after a 17-day odyssey, but the “Open Arms” denied this opportunity to set sail for the ports of Algeciras and Mahón, given the situation of migrants.
Finally, on the night of August 20, the prosecution forced the 83 immigrants who remained on board to disembark in Lampedusa, putting an end to the odyssey.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.