Foreign Affairs
Italian Senate to vote on whether Salvini should be tried for kidnapping 131 immigrants

A special committee within the Italian Senate will be voting to decide whether former Home Affairs Minister, Matteo Salvini, should be tried for the attempted kidnapping of a group of immigrants on board an Italian coastguard ship.

The majority of the members however said that they will not attend the Senate sitting and due to the lack of a quorum, the case. will be postponed until 17 February.  Those who oppose Salvini are accusing him of playing the martyr.

The case goes back to July when Salvini had linked his political credibility to a commitment to control illegal immigration from Africa, and had ordered a group of 131 immigrants to be held on board the ship Gregoretti until the authorities in EU member states agreed to share them between them.

While addressing a rally in the city of Maranello on Saturday, Salvini defied the authorities to make him stand trial. “I say this to those senators who have to decide whether to send me to trial or not, I ask you formally, send me to trial, send me to trial because the Italian people will be on trial with me.”

The committee’s vote will be held at a crucial moment, as next week’s regional elections can lead to the disappearance of the coalition between the Five Stars movement and the left-wing Democratic Party.

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