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Matteo Salvini. Photo: Matteo Salvini. FWM

Matteo Salvini: ‘I want to be tried’

Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini says he welcomes the latest witch hunt against him and predicted that the case will "boomerang" on the prosecutor, as messages in support of Salvini continue to flood in.

Published: September 3, 2018, 9:02 am

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    Salvini said: “I want to be tried. The case will boomerang on the prosecutor of Agrigento. I’m sorry for him.”

    He is being investigated by Sicilian magistrates for illegal detention, illegal arrest and abuse of power, and has been called a “race hater” but the interior minister, speaking toItalian newspapers Il Messaggero and Libero, said he has received many messages of solidarity and that he will waive immunity, because “I want to see how it will end”.

    “In Agrigento, everything will come out positively, and therefore I thank the prosecutor because it will boomerang,” Salvini said.

    A petition in support of the Interior Minister has been launched. He said he would not stand in the way of a Senate authorization to proceed with the case against him. “Absolutely not. If the tribunal says that I must be tried, I will go before the magistrates and explain that I am not a kidnapper. I want to see how this will end.”

    Besides the waiving of his immunity, he also commented on the choice of the Agrigento prosecutor. “I have only done my work as minister, and am ready to do it again. For the rest, I am sorry for the Agrigento prosecutors.

    “I think that with all the problems that Sicily has, the priority is certainly not to investigate Salvini. And he was the same one who some months ago said, ‘The risks of terrorists on board the boats is high.’ Has he changed his mind?”

    Salvini again expressed the urgency of reforming justice. “But not for the investigation into Salvini — exactly — but because we have millions of trials delayed and this is one of the problems that stops investment in Italy.”

    He noted “a tide of messages of solidarity” and added: “I believe that [the prosecutors] in Agrigento are misinformed if they think they can intimidate someone.” Among the many messages of support, there are many from judges and public ministers from various prosecutors’ offices.

    According to Italian daily Corriere della Sera, the government’s approval rating at 68 percent.

    Former Padua prefect Patrizia Impresa said in April 2017 that Italy’s governement “committed sleaze” on migrant reception, the Mattino di Padova newspaper reported on Friday.

    Salvini reacted by saying the alleged wrongdoing had happened on the Democratic Party’s (PD) watch and that the PD was “responsible” for it.

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