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Matteo Salvini. Screenshot from RAI

Case shelved against Salvini involving Alan Kurdi migrant vessel

A politically motivated probe in which former interior minister Matteo Salvini had been under investigation for abuse of office, was shelved by the Italian court of ministers, upholding a request by the Rome prosecutor's office, on Friday.

Published: November 23, 2019, 8:05 am

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    Rome

    The case involved the minister’s actions concerning the Alan Kurdi migrant rescue ship run by the Sea Eye NGO in April 2019.

    The investigation into prefect Matteo Piantedosi, head of the interior minister cabinet, has also been shelved.

    The German NGO ship had picked up 64 migrants onboard a dinghy off Libya. After League leader Salvini refused to allow the ship to dock, on April 13 it arrived on Malta and the migrants were distributed between Germany, France, Luxembourg, and Portugal.

    Former Interior Minister Salvini, who had also served as Deputy Prime Minister, issued a security decree in July that allows Italy to fine private rescue vessels up to one million euros, seize them, and prosecute their captains if they enter Italian waters without authorization.

    His action resulted in a dramatic decline in migrant drownings at sea.

    On Sunday Carola Rackete, captain of Sea-Watch 3, will for the first time be a guest in a television studio in Italy, hosted by Fabio Fazio exclusively on the Rai2 program Che tempo che fa.

    The presenter announced it with a tweet: “We have the pleasure and honor to announce the presence of Carola Rackete on Sunday at 9pm on Rai2”.

    Giorgia Linardi, spokesperson for Sea-Watch Italy, and Muhamad Diaoune, a black Senegalese footballer from Milan, a team of asylum seekers and “refugees”, will also be present in the studio.

    Rackete, who says she is also a researcher committed to the preservation of ecosystems, launched her book “The world we want. A call to the latest generation”, written with Anne Weiss and published by Italian publishing house Garzanti . It was announced that all proceeds from sales of the book will be donated to fighting for the rights of illegal migrants.

    The captain of Sea-Watch 3, which in the summer challenged the ban by then Interior Minister Salvini to land migrants rescued at sea in Lampedusa and who was responsible for the ramming of a Guardia di Finanza patrol boat, returned to Italy in recent days for the first time after the interrogation in the Prosecutor’s office in Agrigento in July.

    In fact, Rackete told Italian daily la Repubblica, that “coming to Italy still involves some risk for me and so I waited so long before I returned, after this summer. I have to take some security measures, but this doesn’t worry me too much. I am a victim of hate speech”.

    Carola Rackete added: “Racism towards other people, discrimination and the social injustices that exist in the world drives me. What we can do today to change this is to get together to fight for the same goals, to defend human rights.”

    The hearing for Rakete, arrested in June for resistance to a public officer and resistance or violence to a warship will be held on January 16. The investigating judge Alessandra Vella had decided not to validate the arrest because the 31-year-old German had acted because of “a state of necessity”.

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