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Scandal erupts after disclosure of exchanges between magistrates on Salvini

The anti-migration policies carried out by Matteo Salvini were legal, but the Italian justice still chose to attack them, according to a WhatsApp conversation between magistrates, disclosed in the press.

Published: May 25, 2020, 7:41 am

    Rome

    The former Italian Minister of the Interior, Salvini, had repeatedly accused Italian justice of failing in its duty of impartiality on the migration question. And his concerns have now been vindicated.

    According to exchanges between Italian magistrates on WhatsApp messaging, made public on Thursday 21 May by the daily La Verità, the anti-migrant policies carried out by Matteo Salvini have been attacked in court even when the said magistrates knew they were legal.

    Members of the League expressed their indignation, accusing the justices of militancy.

    The leaked messages were said to have been issued in 2018, when Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who became a senator last September, announced his intention to close Italian ports to the ships of migrant transport NGOs in the Mediterranean. Progressives then accused the Minister of the Interior of “xenophobia”. However, the provisions laid down by Matteo Salvini were not illegal.

    “I’m sorry to say that I don’t really see where Salvini is wrong. Illegitimate attempts are being made to enter Italy, and the Minister of the Interior is intervening to prevent this from happening,” wrote Paolo Auriemma, chief prosecutor of the city of Viterbo. “And I do not understand what the prosecutor of Agrigento has to do with this,” he added, with reference to the accusations of kidnapping and abuse of power brought against Matteo Salvini by the prosecution of the Sicilian city.

    To which magistrate Luca Palamara replied: “You are right. But now we have to attack.” Italian justice therefore attacked Matteo Salvini even though it knew he was right. During the conversation, Paolo Auriemma questioned the usefulness of attacking the then Minister of the Interior, because “everyone thinks like him” and that his policy has met with great popular success.

    The revelation caused a stir among League deputies, who petitioned President Sergio Mattarella to investigate the matter. “What was reported by the newspaper is very serious and intolerable: the independence of politics vis-à-vis the judiciary must be preserved,” they said.

    As a reminder, Luca Palamara, was the subject of an investigation last year after accusations of corruption.

    In a tweet, Salvini said the introduction of “short trials and the certainty of punishment” should top the reform of Justice as “the priority of the next government”.

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