A court in the Italian city of Catania has refused to try former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini for blocking more than a hundred migrants on board the ‘Gregoretti’, a coast guard ship, in July 2019, as he believes that there is insufficient evidence to support the alleged commission of crimes.
Salvini, who will sit on the bench from September onwards because of the blockade of the “Open Arms”, has for the time being saved the second judicial front and will avoid answering for the alleged crimes of kidnapping and abuse of power.
The investigating judge – like the public prosecutor and the defense – understood that after hearing a number of witnesses, including former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, there is no place where an oral hearing can be opened. However, in order to know the details of the legal dispute, one must wait a maximum of 30 days.
“No to the process because the fact does not exist. Many thanks to those who have supported me,” the league leader celebrated on his Twitter account. Before he heard the court ruling, he had already stated this Friday that, according to the Adnkronos agency, he considered the case an “absolutely shameful fantasy novel”.
Salvini had to answer to the judiciary for the ramifications of his “closed ports” policy when he christened his zero tolerance plans with the arrival of migrants and refugees and, in particular, the activities of NGOs rescuing people at risk in the Central Mediterranean. The far-right leader introduced these measures in the coalition phase between the league and the 5-star movement (M5S).