Italian Court Of Ministers Shelves Probe Into Salvini Over Migrant Rescue Ship - Reports

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 23rd November, 2019) The Italian Court of ministers on Friday upheld the request of Rome Prosecutor's Office to shelve the investigation into former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini for alleged abuse of power over denial to let an NGO migrant rescue ship to dock in Italy earlier this year, the ANSA news agency reported.

It was not until July that Salvini issued a formal decree prohibiting private rescue ships to enter the Italian waters without permission and envisaging an up to one million euro fine ($1.1 million) for non-compliance.

Three months earlier, in April, Salvini refused to allow the docking of the Alan Kurdi rescue ship, operated by the Sea Eye NGO. According to the report, it had 64 migrants on board, including women and children. They eventually disembarked in Malta and were distributed among France, Germany, Luxembourg, and Portugal.

Due to its geography and commitments under several EU agreements, Italy has traditionally been among the front-gate countries to be approached by boats carrying migrants. This summer, another NGO-run rescue ship, the Open Arms, was stranded for nearly three weeks in the Mediterranean with about a hundred migrants from Africa on board before it was allowed to dock at the Italian island of Lampedusa.