Sea-Watch legal expert Giorgia Linardi told journalists in Rome on Wednesday that Sea-Watch 3 Captain Carola Rakete was ‘now completely free’ after being released from detention the day before.
Linardi said that there was ‘particular interest’ from Interior Minister Matteo Salvini to expel Rakete from the country, but that the prosecutor does not give the authorisation out of interest for continuing the judiciary procedure.
“Therefore, she is free to go to Germany, if she wants it, but she shouldn’t,” said Linardi, adding that the prosecutor will interrogate Rakete on July 9.
Linardi also hit out at Salvini, saying that he would be the first to help out migrants if he were to witness a sea rescue operation from on board a Sea-Watch vessel. And if he did not help, then that would make him “a monster,” according to Linardi.
She also said that Sea-Watch were tired of being insulted by Salvini “from morning to night,” adding, “no one should dare to call us vice-smugglers, criminals, or sea taxi drivers, without having any proof of it.”
Moreover, Linardi criticised Salvini for not saying “half a word” nor taking any actions against the insults that were reportedly addressed to Rakete.
Rakete, a 31-year-old German national, was detained after refusing to comply with a ban on entering Italy’s territorial waters. The vessel was carrying more than 40 migrants and after weeks at sea the captain decided to port in Lampedusa over the weekend.
On Tuesday, a judge said Rakete had not broken the law and she had been carrying out her duty to protect human life, prompting criticism from Salvini, who promised to expel Rakete as soon as possible.