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Matteo Salvini; Boat people. Photo supplied

Human traffickers caught aboard the Diciotti

According to the mainstream media, an Italian coast guard ship carried only “rescued” migrants that was held in a Sicilian port. But the arrest of alleged human traffickers who were on board the vessel, tells a different story.

Published: September 7, 2018, 11:29 am

    Italian daily Il Giornale reported that at least four smugglers have been caught on board the Diciotti. Three Egyptians and a Bangladeshi were arrested by the police: Among the accusations they are facing, are sexual violence and criminal association.

    The national police caught the assumed smugglers who embarked along with the immigrants on board the Diciotti and disembarked in Sicily.

    The four are being charged with people-trafficking, aiding illegal immigration, sexual violence and procuring illegal entry.

    On the other judicial front, relevant to the investigation into Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s “race hatred”, the judicial papers will soon be transmitted from the prosecutor of Agrigento to that of Palermo, and sent to the appropriate court in the next two weeks.

    The court in Palermo will have three months to issue an opinion. If the judges decide that the prosecutor has sufficient grounds to proceed, authorisation will be requested to proceed against Salvini for abuse of power, illegal arrest, and illegal detention.

    Only with the go-ahead of the Palazzo Madama – the seat of the Italian Senate, where the Lega leader Salvini  sits as senator, would they proceed against the Minister of the Interior.

    The members of the Five Star Movement, through Luigi Di Maio, have made it known that Salvini can remain in the Viminale [parliament] even if under investigation.

    In addition, many voices in the center right, beginning with Giorgia Meloni and the Brothers of Italy, and the leader of Forza Italia, Silvio Berlusconi, have expressed support for the minister.

    The former PM Berlusconi said: “An absurd and inconsistent judicial issue can only have a favorable outcome for Salvini.” He continued: “Once again, judicial authority has intervened in an issue that is exclusively political, in which they should not interfere at all.”

    Despite the success in decreasing the number of arriving migrants, Salvini has declared he will be deporting more illegal migrants, according to Il Giornale.

    “Now we are working to increase expulsions, something that those who preceded me, unfortunately, did not,” Salvini said. He promised to speed up deportations as well as make a concerted effort to catch those without residency permits. “Expulsions: from words to deeds, ” Salvini said.

    He criticised the previous administration’s inaction. “I do not know what the person before me was doing with his time.”

    Earlier this year, Salvini promised to deport as many as 500 000 illegal migrants. “There are half a million irregular migrants in Italy. All of them need to be sent home.”

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