Italian Matteo Salvini will face trial for KIDNAPPING after blocking the migrant ship

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Italian Matteo Salvini is on trial for KIDNAPPING after blocking a migrant ship from disembarking in six-day stalemate while serving as Interior Minister

  • Head of the League’s right-wing party accused of preventing the landing of migrants
  • A group of 147 people had been rescued at sea by the Spanish NGO Open Arms
  • Salvini could face up to 15 years in prison after his trial, scheduled for September

Italy’s Matteo Salvini will face kidnapping after blocking a migrant ship from disembarking in a six-day standoff while serving as interior minister.

Salvini, then head of the League’s right-wing party and interior minister, has been accused of preventing migrants from landing on Lampedusa Island after they were rescued at sea by the Spanish NGO Open Arms.

For nearly a week, he refused to land a ship carrying 147 mostly African migrants as conditions on board deteriorated.

All minors and some with health problems were allowed to disembark.

Matteo Salvini, then head of the League’s right-wing party and interior minister, has been accused of preventing migrants from landing on Lampedusa Island after they were rescued at sea by the Spanish NGO Open Arms.

He is facing a similar case due to his decision to prevent about 100 migrants from disembarking the Italian coast guard vessel Gregoretti in July 2019.

He is facing a similar case due to his decision to prevent about 100 migrants from disembarking the Italian coast guard vessel Gregoretti in July 2019.

Giulia Bongiorno, the defendant's attorney, will deliver a speech at an introductory hearing today

Giulia Bongiorno, the defendant’s attorney, will deliver a speech at an introductory hearing today

Typically combative, Salvini tweeted today that ‘defending the country is the sacred duty of every citizen’.

‘Will I be condemned for that for defending my country? I will appear with my head held high, ”he said.

Salvini, who sat in court today and faces up to 15 years in prison after his trial, scheduled for September 15, called it “more of a political than a judicial decision.”

Open Arms welcomed the ruling, saying on Twitter that it was “ happy for all the people we saved. ”

It is the second case that relates to Salvini’s time as Interior Minister, when he banned all NGO rescue ships from entering Italian ports.

He is facing a similar case due to his decision to prevent about 100 migrants from disembarking the Italian coast guard boat Gregoretti in July 2019.

His League party takes a tough stance against migrants entering Italy, arguing that his country bears an unfair burden as the first point of entry into Europe for those crossing from North Africa in unstable boats.

When he blocked the ships, Salvini was part of a coalition government and held the position of Home Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister.

He has argued that the policy was not his, but agreed by the government as a whole.

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