The prosecutor in Agrigento, Sicily, has opened an investigation aimed in particular at the Minister of the Interior for "kidnapping of persons, illegal arrests and abuse of power".
On Saturday, August 25, the Palermo Court of Justice seized an inquiry aimed in particular at Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini for "Kidnapping of persons, unlawful arrests and abuse of power" in the case of migrants retained aboard the ship "Diciotti", announced Saturday evening the Italian media.
His chief of staff, Matteo Piantedosi, is targeted by the same investigation, initiated by the prosecutor's office of Agrigento, Sicily. In accordance with the Italian Constitution, which prohibits the usual courts from dealing with this type of case, the investigation was referred to a "court of ministers", which has been tasked since the Palermo Court with dealing with potential offenses committed by members of the Government on the Sicilian jurisdiction.
"They will not stop us. It's a shame "Immediately reacted the leader of the far-right party League, from the town of Pinzolo, where he was holding a rally. "They can stop me, but not the will of 60 million Italians"added Salvini.
Luigi Patronaggio, the public prosecutor of Agrigento, Sicily, first opened on Friday a judicial inquiry into the case, seeking to understand the chain of command leading to the ban on the landing of the 150 migrants rescued by the refugees. Italian coast guards, stranded for a dozen days in the port of Catania, Sicily.
Matteo Salvini, Minister of the Interior and holding the hard line towards migrants, had reacted as early as Friday night to the announcement of the first investigation, asking the magistrate to question him directly.
"He should interrogate me and not ask for clarification from officials who execute the instructions given by the manager, that is me"said the League chief on the radio.
Twelve migrants allowed to disembark for health reasons
The judicial involvement of Mr. Salvini comes hours after the intervention of several doctors and inspectors of the Ministry of Health, on the morning of Saturday, August 25, aboard the Diciotti to control the health of 150 migrants.
Twelve of them were able to go ashore on Saturday afternoon. As a first step, the health authorities of the port had authorized the disembarkation for health reasons of 16 people – 11 women and five men – to which was added a sixth man, sick too, bringing the total to 17 people.
Five of the women, however, refused to leave the ship and leave their families still on board, the Italian media said.
Only twenty-seven unaccompanied minors had been allowed to land on Wednesday and before that, thirteen others requiring emergency hospitalization had been landed.
Albania, the only country to offer a home
Albania, which does not belong to the European Union, is the only country so far to have offered to host some of these migrants.
In the early evening, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked on Twitter "Albania for its decision to welcome 20 refugees from the ship Diciotti, a signal of great solidarity and great friendship".
Il Ministro degli Affari Esteri Enzo Moavero Milanesi ringrazia Albania for the decisione di accogliere 20 prof … https://t.co/ohJNvUC982
After threatening the European Union on Friday "To pay less" for the community budget because of the lack of solidarity, he returned to the load Saturday promising that "Italy will not vote when unanimity is needed to adopt the budget".
In Geneva, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) launched Saturday "An appeal to the Member States of the European Union to urgently provide resettlement places for some 150 rescued persons who remain on board the Italian Coast Guard ship Diciotti".
"In the meantime, UNHCR urges Italian authorities to allow immediate disembarkation of persons on board", he added.
In this case, many critics from all sides have been rushing for days on Matteo Salvini, the Minister of the Interior and leader of the far-right party La Ligue, one of the hardest coming from the archbishop of Agrigento, Cardinal Francesco Montenegro. He said in an interview Saturday with the daily La Stampa : "Sometimes I think that if they were animals, we would have treated them better".