Italy’s Senate voted to strip far-right chief Matteo Salvini of his parliamentary immunity, paving the way for him to face a possible career derailing trial, for a second time, over allegedly illegally blocking migrants at sea to land in Italy.
Prosecutors in the Sicilian city of Palermo accuse Salvini of abusing his powers as then-interior minister in August 2019 to illegally prevent more than 80 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean from disembarking from the Open Arms charity ship.
Ministers cannot be tried for actions taken while in office unless their parliamentary immunity is revoked by the Senate. However, the decision to stop the migrants from getting off the ship until a deal was brokered with EU countries to take them in was reached collectively within the government.
That is the same defense Salvini is using in the other trial, in which he is accused of blocking migrants from disembarking from the Italian “Gregoretti” coast guard boat.
In February, the Senate voted to strip him of his parliamentary immunity in that case. The preliminary hearing has been postponed three times due to the Corona-virus pandemic, and is now scheduled to take place in Sicily on October 3.
Matteo Salvini is currently in opposition but is determined to become prime minister. After threatening the President of the Italian Bank to go to prison for creating the Italian crisis, he got side-winded by the president of Italy, leading to dissolving the government.
Although the League may be slipping down the polls, it is still the most popular party in Italy and its leader expects to do well at the next elections.
A fabricated conviction, however, could throw a serious spanner in the works.
Breitbart / ABC Flash Point Italy News 2020.