Friday, April 23, 2010

On Trial for Doing Their Job

Most news stories coming out of Italy these days seem to reflect a reasonable, commonsense country that is refreshingly free of multicultural madness and PC prattle. During the last few years the Italians have toughened their stance on immigration, thus cutting back on the flow of illegal migrants across the Mediterranean to Sicily and mainland Italy.

That’s what makes the following story all the more discouraging. Yes, these police officials were in technical violation of the law. But what they did — turning back illegal Libyan migrants before they could land on Italian soil and thus avail themselves of all the benefits and protections offered by the EU to “refugees” — served the greater good of Italy, not to mention the stated policies of the Berlusconi government.

So is it really necessary to prosecute these two men for repatriating illegal immigrants?

According to ANSAmed:

Immigration: Italy; Refused Entries, Police Official in Court

SIRACUSA, APRIL 22 — A high-ranking police official regarding immigration issues and an Italian Financial Police general will face trial for “refusing entry” to 75 illegal immigrants who, between August 29 and 30 2009 were deported to Libya on a military ship.

This was the decision made by Siracusa’s public prosecutor’s office, taking the two officials to court on allegations of complicity in coercion. According to the prosecutor, the crime is not “refusing entry to the immigrants per se”, but the lack of application of the Italian law on the national territory, which the Finance Guard ship used to take the immigrants to Libya. Therefore, the allegation is not against the refused entry policy of the Italian government nor puts in doubt the legitimacy of the agreements between Italy and Libya on that issue.
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According to the prosecutor, the two defendants “in abuse of their respective powers as public officers” exercised “violent conduct” in “bringing back to Libyan territory, against their evident will, 75 unidentified foreign citizens, some of whom are minors”. Taking the immigrants aboard the Italian ship, considered part of national territory, is for the prosecutor “against Italian and international law”, as “it prevented the immigrants from accessing the refugee protection procedures” and using their rights.

The night of August 30 the immigrants’ motorboat was stopped by the Italian Financial Police in international waters near Capo Passero on Portopalo. It looked like another sea rescue operation, but immigrants were forced to board the Finance Guard’s ship ‘Denaro’, and instead of being taken to Italy, they were taken to Libya, where they were taken in custody by local authorities.

The public prosecutor investigated several military officers present that night as well, but has now requested and obtained their acquittal, since they allegedly “obeyed superior orders that were not obviously illegitimate”. The orders came, according to the prosecutor, directly from Rome and that’s why the prosecutor asked a trial of the two high-ranking officials. (ANSAmed).

Hat tip: Insubria.


laine said...

How is this different from the two American border guards prosecuted and jailed for their handling of illegal Mexican immigrants? Bush didn't even grant them a presidential pardon because he had a hispanic housekeeper or something during his formative years and was soft on even the illegal component.