The case concerns events more than two years ago, when Salvini, as interior minister and deputy prime minister, closed Italian ports to NGO ships and prevented migrants rescued at sea from disembarking.
In August 2019, the crew of the Spanish NGO Open Arms that patrols the Mediterranean took 147 migrants on the sinking boat and laid a path to Malta. The state authorities refused to accept the immigrants. The ship then headed towards the Italian island of Lampedusa.
Salvini was not granted permission to enter the port for six days. It was adopted when the court of Agrigento issued a decision on this matter. Migrants disembarked.
The leader of the league, to imprison their freedom, faces 15 years in prison.
In this case, as in similar cases involving other ships, Senator Matteo Salvini says he defended Italy’s borders and considers the court’s decision to prosecute him as a political one.
Richard Gere will testify as a witness to the prosecution because he boarded the Open Arms during the sea crisis and provided humanitarian aid to migrants. He also learned about the conditions of immigrants.
On Saturday, a court in Palermo decided that former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, current head of the Interior Ministry Luciana Lamorgese, head of the Foreign Ministry Luigi Di Maio, who was deputy prime minister two years ago, will also be. They testify as witnesses. In addition, other ministers from Conte’s previous government are on the witness list.
Salvini told reporters after his exit from court, “Tell me, how serious is the trial of Richard Gere from Hollywood to testify about my evil?”
“I hope the trial will take as short a time as possible because there are more important matters to be dealt with,” the association leader added.
The trial was adjourned until 17 December.
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