Matteo Salvini, The leader of the right-wing Northern League party, mocked the verdict he faces for refusing to allow an immigrant ship to dock in the country in 2019 after the actor. Richard Kerr Will be allowed to testify.
Salvini, then Italy’s interior minister, appeared at a second hearing in the Sicilian capital, Palermo, on Saturday, where the court approved a list of witnesses.
Among the witnesses were former Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, other Italian politicians and Hollywood actor Richard Kerr, who was in Italy at the time and joined the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms – which operated the rescue ship – to provide food to the people on board.
“Now tell me how serious is the test that Richard Kerr is coming from Hollywood to prove how bad I am,” Salvini said.
Proactiva Open Arms told the court that prosecutors could directly state the conditions on the ship, which was stranded on the Italian island of Lampedusa 19 days before prosecutors ordered the evacuation.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
Salvini, who made up the bulk of his political fortune in the anti-immigration campaign, said he had simply fulfilled his duty as a minister.
“Protecting the borders of a country, security, honor and dignity is not only the duty of a minister, it is the duty of all,” he said. “It is surreal to be prosecuted for doing my duty.”
“A Spanish boat that refuses to go to Spain makes an abuse,” he added. “If Spain gives its flag to boats that can’t control it, then there’s a problem.”
Salvini could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted at the end of a lengthy three-stage court case.
A final sentence could prevent him from future government office.
The court scheduled a new hearing for Dec. 17.
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