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Prosecuted “abuse of power and forcible confinement of persons” for having blocked 116 migrants on board an Italian Coast Guard ship, the Gregoretti, the head of the Italian extreme right, during the summer of 2019, Matteo Salvini, was summoned before a Sicilian court on Saturday, October 3.

Taking place behind closed doors, the preliminary hearing was postponed to 20 November after the judge decided to summon the Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, the current Minister of the Interior, Luciana Lamorgese, and the Head of Diplomacy, Luigi Di Maio.

The defence of the former Minister of the Interior, whose immunity was lifted last February by the Italian Senate, called for a dismissal of the case.Salvini’s lawyers are also seeking to involve the Prime Minister in the case in order to demonstrate that the blocking of the Gregoretti was a collective government decision. A version disputed by Giuseppe Conte who recalled that at the time, Matteo Salvini had approved a new decree-law strengthening his powers.

It is worthy to note that the leader of the League will soon appear in a similar case in Palermo. Mr. Salvini had blocked the Open-Arms humanitarian boat in front of the island of Lampedusa for several days in mid-August 2019.