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The former Italian Deputy Prime Minister’s case involving illegal imprisonment of Mediterranean immigrants reopened pre-trial. Prosecutors asked not to prosecute.

The former Italian Deputy Prime Minister's case involving illegal imprisonment of Mediterranean immigrants reopened pre-trial. Prosecutors asked not to prosecute.

League leader and former Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini arrives at the bunker hall room of the Bicocca prison for a preliminary hearing on the Gregoretti case, in Catania, Italy, 10 April 2021. Salvini is accused of kidnapping after he delayed the disembarkation of 131 migrants on Italian shores in July 2019. ANSA/ ORIETTA SCARDINO

April 10th, local time, the Catania Court of Italy reopened the pre-trial of the case of former Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Salvini suspected of illegally imprisoning rescued refugees in the Mediterranean Sea. Eventually, prosecutor Andrea Bonomo asked the examining magistrate not to prosecute Salvini.

Bonomo said in court that Salvini “did not violate any international conventions” and that his decision was made jointly with the government. Moreover, illegal imprisonment is not guilty, because there is no criminal fact. According to the case file records of the Catania Prosecutor’s Office, the three-day waiting period is not illegal imprisonment, and the Italian government is not obliged to allow these immigrants to land immediately.

On 25 July 2019, 131 rescued Mediterranean illegal immigrants stayed on an Italian Coast Guard ship for six days before landing in a port in Sicily due to a ban issued by then-Minister of the Interior Salvini.

Currently, Salvini is also indicted to Palermo Court in August 2019 for refusing to land 147 Mediterranean migrants rescued from a NGO rescue ship to Italian ports, and the case is in the pretrial stage.

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