Sea-Watch captain Carola Rackete faces Italy prosecutor over migrants

epa07724077 Sea-Watch3 captain Carola Rackete (L), accompanied by her lawyers, Alessandro Gamberini (not pictured) and Leonardo Marino (R), arrives to be questioned by a Court in Ragusa, Sicily, Italy, 18 July 2019. Prosecutors in the Sicilian city of Agrigento on 17 July filed an appeal to the supreme Court of Cassation against a judge's decision not to keep Sea-Watch3 captain Carola Rackete under house arrest. The 31-year-old woman from Germany on 29 June allegedly hit a finance police vessel as she defied a ban in order to land 40 migrants on the island of Lampedusa, saying she was afraid some might commit suicide after being at sea for 17 days following a rescue off Libya. EPA-EFE/PASQUALE CLAUDIO MONTANA LAMPO

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German captain Carola Rackete, who sparked international headlines by forcibly docking in an Italian port with rescued migrants, faces questioning by an Italian prosecutor on Thursday over allegedly aiding illegal immigration.
The captain of the Sea-Watch 3 is to be questioned in the southern Sicilian town of Agrigento.
Rackete was arrested on June 29 for entering Italy’s Lampedusa port despite a veto imposed by far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, and knocking a coast guard boat out of the way to land 40 migrants after over two weeks blocked at sea.

A judge overturned the arrest three days later, saying the 31-year old had merely acted to save lives.

But the Sea-Watch 3 remains in police custody in the Sicilian port of Licata and Rackete is still the object of two investigations — one for entering Italian waters despite a direct order to stop, and another for aiding illegal immigration.

Sea-Watch3 captain Carola Rackete questioned in Agrigento
Sea-Watch3 captain Carola Rackete arrives to be questioned, in Agrigento, Sicily island, southern Italy. EPA-EFE/CONCETTA RIZZO

Rackete will be heard on the latter on Thursday, and will have to explain why her crew rescued the migrants without waiting for the Libyan coast guard, which has jurisdiction over the stretch of water in which they were found.

The 31-year-old will also be asked why she then sailed the Dutch-flagged vessel to Italy rather than a Libyan or Tunisian port.


Via ANSA/France 24

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