Salvini should be tried for kidnapping, court rules

ROME – Interior Minister Matteo Salvini is just a step away from facing trial after a court determined in a surprise ruling that he should be tried for kidnapping.

 The League leader was put under investigation in August by Sicilian prosecutors for the alleged kidnapping and detention of 177 migrants, after he prevented them from disembarking the Italian coastguard ship Ubaldo Diciotti.

 “I could face up to 15 years in jail because I’ve stopped the disembarking of illegals in Italy,” Salvini responded. “Am I afraid? Not at all,” the Deputy Prime Minister wrote on Twitter.

 Given that Salvini is a government minister, a decision will be made by the Senate on whether he will stand trial for the accusations, or whether proceedings will be halted.

 Though Salvini remains confident that he will outlast the allegations, a founding principle of his coalition partners the Five Star Movement is to ask for the resignation of politicians who are under investigation.

 In 2017, party leader Luigi Di Maio called for the resignation of Salvini’s Interior Ministry predecessor, who faced abuse of office accusations.