14:16 GMT18 May 2021
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    ROME (Sputnik) - Matteo Salvini, the former interior minister of Italy, said Saturday he had been indicted on kidnapping charges over his 2019 decision to bar a migrant ship from docking.

    The 48-year-old leader of the League party said he had called his children after Saturday’s trial and indictment.

    "Smile and head held high, guys, those who have a clear conscience and did their duty, cannot be afraid", Salvini tweeted.

    Salvini argued that he defended the homeland by refusing a Spanish rescue ship with 147 migrants picked up at sea to dock in an Italian port in Lampedusa.

    "The defence of the homeland is a citizen’s sacred duty. Article 52 of the constitution. Am I going to trial for this, for defending my country? I will go there with my head held high", he tweeted.

    ​The first hearing will be held in the main Sicilian city of Palermo on 15 September.

    Kidnapping, migrants, Matteo Salvini, Court, Italy
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