• Mon. Jan 17th, 2022

Open Arms, Salvini’s trial starts tomorrow


Oct 22, 2021

After a lightning hearing immediately postponed, the Open Arms trial against the former Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini, accused of kidnapping and refusal of official documents for the case of the ship of the Spanish NGO which in August 2019 after saving 147 migrants remained at sea for days waiting to be able to land the shipwrecks. On 15 September the hearing was opened and immediately closed and postponed until tomorrow by the President of the second criminal section, Roberto Murgia. There were no preliminary questions on the part of the prosecution, represented by the substitutes Giorgia Righi and Calogero Ferrara, substitute of the European Criminal Prosecutor who obtained the application to this trial. President Murgia has invited the prosecution to cite the first witnesses to be convened for the next hearing, but as far as Adnkronos has learned there will be no witnesses for the prosecution. Only documents and evidence will be presented. But Salvini will be in the courtroom. A total of 26 witnesses were included in the list filed by the Palermo Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Registry of the Second Section of the Court of Palermo. Prosecutor Francesco Lo Voi asked the President of the Second Criminal Section to hear, among others, former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, at the time vice-president of the Council. And again: the former ministers Danilo Toninelli and Elisabetta Trenta, the ambassador Maurizio Massari, permanent representative of Italy to the European Union, the prefect and commissioner of Agrigento, Dario Caputo and Rosa Maria Iraci, the prefects Matteo Piantedosi (head of Cabinet of the Ministry of the Interior), Paolo Formicola, Deputy Head of the Ministry of the Interior and Emanuela Garroni, Deputy Head of the Deputy Cabinet of the Ministry of the Interior. The prosecutor also asks to hear the commander of the Open Arms, Marc Reius Creig, and the head of mission, Ana Isabel Montes Mier. Among the texts also Richard Gere he recalled that among the texts there will also be Richard Gere. “He will testify against me in the Open Arms trial in Palermo,” announced the leader of the League. “I know him as an actor, but I don’t understand what kind of lesson he can give me, the Italian to the Italians about our rules and our laws,” Salvini said. “If anyone thinks of turning the trial into a show and wants to see each other Richard Gere goes to the cinema, not to court.” “I will ask him for an autograph to bring to my mother” – announces the former Minister of the Interior. “But I would like to know – he continues – how much this stuff will cost to Italian taxpayers, which would not be possible in any other country”. On the other hand, 21 civil parties have been admitted by the GUP during the preliminary hearing, which ended last April, with the postponement at judgment. In addition to the municipalities of Barcelona (Spain) and Palermo, there are Emergency, Asgi (Association of legal immigration studies), Arci, Ciss, Legambiente, Democratic Jurists, Citizenship Active, Open Arms, Mediterranea, AccoglieRete, Oscar Camps (captain of the ship), Ana Isabel Montes Mier (Open Arms Head of Mission) and several migrants. The first hearing has been set for next September 15 but, from what we learn, it should be a technical hearing during which the parties will be heard to identify the dates and the classrooms.Some of the texts cited by the prosecution are also cited by the defence. The former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, but also the current Minister of the Interior Luciana Lamorgese and the Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio. And again, the former ministers Danilo Toninelli, Giovanni Tria and Enzo Moavero. These are just some of the 31 names that will be called, if admitted, by the defense of Lega leader Matteo Salvini in the Open Arms trial on the stand before the second criminal section of the Court. Among the texts cited, Conte and Lamorgese “Italy is not has never been competent according to international law for the indication of the Pos since, even to exclude the possibility of a Libyan competence, the State responsible for the issue of the Pos was Spain, as flag State of the Open arms ship, and, limited to the third episode, Malta “, has always supported the defense. Among the 31 texts cited are politicians, former politicians, ambassadors, bureaucrats, prefects and even the commander of the Open Arms Marc Reig Creus, who is also a civil party. Among the politicians, the names of the former undersecretary of the Interior Stefano Candiani, of the current undersecretary Nicola Molteni, of the former grillino Stefano Lucidi and today of the Northern League still stand out who, as Adnkronos learns, “will demonstrate that everyone in the government wanted to follow the line of Salvini Minister of the Interior “, a” shared line “, in short, and which, even” the former Minister of Infrastructure Toninelli would have liked to override Salvini “. Among the texts also the former Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry and today head of the Italian Security Information Department from the Draghi government, Elisabetta Belloni. Or the ambassador Maurizio Massari, permanent representative of Italy to the European Union, who has already testified in the preliminary hearing for the Gregoretti affair in Catania, in which for Salvini, however, unlike the Open Arms case, the gup decided the no place to proceed. According to Salvini’s defense, these evidence should demonstrate “what happened in Catania” with the Gregoretti case, but also “in the European policy on the redistribution of migrants” because according to Salvini’s lawyers “Conte and Moavero were looking for the redistribution of migrants on board, therefore it was not a wait aimed at kidnapping but at redistribution of the same “. In the long list of texts, on which the Court will have to express, also representatives of the European Union, such as the European Commissioner who will have to explain what were the initiatives taken by the EU in that period. And again the former Maltese premier Joseph Muscat as well as the vice president of the Presidential Council in Libya, “who will report on the agreements between the Italian and Libyan authorities”. Among the defense issues, that of “proving the violations of the boat of the NGO Open Arms”, but also “of showing that migrants were always assisted”, of “proving that there was no competence of Italy and that he was expecting the redistribution of migrants “. (by Elvira Terranova)

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