Former Italian minister Matteo Salvini will not be prosecuted for stopping a ship carrying 131 immigrants in the summer of 2019. The leader of the right-wing populist party accused Lega of deprivation of liberty, but according to the court in Catania, Salvini cannot stand in his favor. The facts are under litigation.
Before the hearing in the Bicocca prison bunker in Sicily, Salvini said he already believed he would be acquitted: “I expect justice with the capital of C.”
The public prosecutor had also previously requested a halt to the trial, allegedly because he had not violated international law. So the judge’s decision was not surprising.
Another case is still underway
This does not mean that Salvini is free from prosecution. He has another pending case to ban another migrant ship in the summer of 2019, leaving 149 people trapped at sea for a week.
In this case, according to the Public Prosecution Department, there are sufficient legal grounds to sue the legal leader. According to the prosecution, the minister acted on his own initiative, independently of Parliament. In September, he had to defend himself before the Palermo court. He risks imprisonment and may lose his job as a politician.
Salvini, 48, is currently a member of the Italian Senate. There, last summer, the way for Salvini’s trial was paved by lifting his immunity as a politician from prosecution.
Lega was the second party in the country since the 2018 parliamentary elections, but in polls it has been ahead of the curve for some time. After multiple government crises, the Salvini Party became part of a government of national unity led by former chief banker Mario Draghi.
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