Italian prosecutors investigate ex-minister Salvini

A woman takes pictures of the League leader Matteo Salvini greeting farmers during a protest organized by agricultural lobby Coldiretti against the overpopulation of wild boars and their destruction of farmlands and produce, in Rome, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. According to Coldiretti, the population of wild boars has more than doubled in the past ten years, accounting for some 2 million boars in Italy. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

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MILAN (AP) — Prosecutors in Sicily are investigating former Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini for not allowing a humanitarian rescue ship to enter Italian waters this summer.

The news agency ANSA said Salvini was being investigated for abduction and dereliction of duty for the 20-day stand-off with a ship carrying 164 migrants operated by Spanish group Proactive Open Arms.

Salvini, the leader of the right-wing League, has avoided trial for similar instances in the past when he was minister, because parliament refused to lift his immunity.

He lost his ministerial role in August when his failed attempt at a power grab toppled the government.

Prosecutors have two weeks to decide whether to proceed with the case.

Salvini was dismissive of the investigation, calling it a waste of taxpayer money and judicial officials’ time.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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