Italian Judges Call for Prosecution of Anti-Immigrant Politician
CASTELBUONO, Sicily (Courthouse News) – An unusual high-stakes legal and political battle is unfolding in Italy over the nation’s harsh new anti-immigrant policies and whether its most prominent advocate, the far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, should face criminal charges for carrying those policies out.
In late January, a three-judge panel in Catania, a Sicilian port city, issued a ruling saying Salvini should be prosecuted for his decision to detain for several days 177 asylum-seekers rescued from the Mediterranean Sea.
The asylum-seekers, who were mostly from Eritrea, were held aboard an Italian coast guard ship, the Diciotti, while it was docked in Catania. In the meantime, Salvini demanded other European nations take in the asylum-seekers.
The judges said Salvini’s decision to hold them on the vessel, sleeping on the ship’s decks under the hot summer sun, was “merely political” and served no public interest.
In this picture taken Dec. 22, 2018, Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini waits for the start of a confidence vote on the budget law at the Italian Senate in Rome.
(Riccardo Antimiani/ANSA Via AP)