© Reuters. Press conference by far-right leader Matteo Salvini and lawyer Giulia Bongiorno, in Catania
ROME (Reuters) – On Saturday, an Italian prosecutor formally called on right-wing League leader Matteo Salvini to be tried for kidnapping charges for his decision to prevent more than 100 migrants from landing in the country. year 2019.
Salvini’s decision, taken as Minister of the Interior, left the migrants stranded at sea until prosecutors ordered the ship to be seized and the people on board evacuated.
Salvini defended his action on Saturday and said he was not worried about the prosecutor’s petition, part of a lengthy legal process – the Italian Senate authorized the court to pursue an investigation of the case. kidnapped last year.
“I am proud to have worked to protect my country, respect the law, awaken Europe and save many lives. If this leaves me in trouble and suffering, I will gladly accept it. “, Writes Salvini on Facebook (NASDAQ :).
During his 14 months as Interior Minister, Salvini blocked a number of ships from docking in Italy in an attempt to stop the flow of migrants. He frequently accused the migrant rescue charities of effectively encouraging smugglers.
He could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty at the end of the tortuous three-stage trial. A definitive conviction could ban him from government office.
The prosecutor has requested the indictment during a preliminary hearing in the Sicilian capital Palermo. The final decision on whether or not to continue remains with a senior judge.
Open Arms, the charity that operates the migrant rescue ship at the heart of the case, said it supports the prosecutor’s petition.
“Violating the rights of the vulnerable is a crime in any democratic country,” it wrote on Twitter.
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