What a farce…
Italy: Salvini Facing Show Trial for “Kidnapping” Migrants
- In September, Sicilian prosecutor Carmelo Zuccaro said that the kidnapping accusations against Salvini were “groundless” and recommended that he be acquitted of all charges. The Court of Ministers, however, overruled Zuccaro, who is now, paradoxically, required to proceed with prosecuting Salvini, even though he has already found him to be innocent.
- The charges against Salvini appear to be part of a political vendetta against him as well as his opposition to mass migration. Case in point: Although the decision to prevent those onboard the Gregoretti from disembarking in July 2019 was made by Salvini in close coordination with senior members of the Italian government, only Salvini is facing prosecution.
- “No contrary position was taken by the Prime Minister Conte…. This makes the hypothesis of individual action by Minister Salvini completely improbable.” — Senator Erika Stefani, Lega Party, presenting documents showing that other ministers were deeply involved in discussions over the Gregoretti.
- “If I have to go to court, I will explain to the judges that defending the borders of my country and protecting citizens was my duty and, serenely, I will go to that courtroom to represent millions of Italians, because I simply did what they asked me to do: to control who enters and who leaves Italy.” — Former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini in a tweet, February 12, 2020.
- Like Trump, Salvini’s legal troubles are fuelling his approval ratings…. Surveys indicate that if Italy held elections now, Lega would win a majority together with its conservative allies.
|The Italian Senate has voted to strip former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini of parliamentary immunity so that he can face kidnapping charges for refusing to allow migrants to disembark from a ship at a port in Sicily. This is in spite of Sicilian prosecutor Carmelo Zuccaro saying in September that the kidnapping accusations against Salvini were “groundless” and recommended that he be acquitted of all charges. Pictured: Salvini (center) at a rally in Policoro, on August 10, 2019. (Photo by Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images)|
The Italian Senate has voted to strip former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini of parliamentary immunity so that he can face kidnapping charges for refusing to allow migrants to disembark from a ship at a port in Sicily.
If Salvini, who leads the anti-mass-migration party, Lega (League), is found guilty, he faces a ban on holding political office and up to 15 years in prison. He has said that he acted in Italy’s national interest and that the charges against him are politically motivated, aimed at silencing criticism of the country’s open-door migration policy.
Under Italian law, ministers enjoy immunity for actions taken while in office — unless the Senate votes to lift that protection. On February 12, the Italian Senate voted 152-76 in favor of lifting Salvini’s immunity, after a parliamentary committee on January 21 recommended the action.