Salvini to face kidnapping trial for migrant stand-off

Rome, Apr 17 (EFE).- The leader of Italy’s far-right League party Matteo Salvini will go on trial to face kidnapping charges relating to his decision as interior minister to block port access to the Open Arms migrant rescue boat, which was left at sea with some 150 people aboard for more than 20 days.

A court in Palermo, Sicily, set the opening of the trial for 15 September, local media reported.

Italian prosecutors eventually ordered the disembarkation of the boat on 20 August 2019, by which time there were 83 people left on board, the rest having already been evacuated.

Salvini, a firebrand, anti-migrant politician took to social media to voice his opinion.

“I am going to trial with my head held high, in your name as well as mine. Italy first, always,” he said.

Open Arms, the Spanish NGO involved in the migrant rescue, tweeted: “We are happy on behalf of all those we rescued on that mission 65 of Open Arms and for all the vulnerable people who have been rescued until now from the sea of shame.”

A similar case against the former interior minister dating to July 2019 was recently archived. EFE


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