Recently leaked Whatsapp messages show that Italian magistrates publicly accused Salvini of violating the law while he was in office despite privately admitting that they knew he was in the right.



Salvini, the leader of the populist Right-wing Lega party, served as Minister of the Interior from June 2018 until September 2019, when he was ousted after putting forward a motion for a no confidence vote in Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. A harsh critic of illegal migration, Salvini advanced staunch anti-migration policies during his term.


Italy’s magistrates publicly attacked Salvini on an almost daily basis during 2018 for his policies towards migration. They claimed that his closing of Italy’s ports to migrants was illegal. He was also accused of violating migration laws by detaining migrants when they arrived at Italian ports, and he faces the possibility of standing trial for this alleged offence later this year.


The Italian newspaper La Verità has now published a private WhatsApp conversation between magistrates, dating from August 2018, in which their true views about Salvini are revealed, according to a report by Il Giornale.


“I’m sorry to say that I don’t really see where Salvini is wrong,” Paolo Auriemma, the Chief Prosecutor for Viterbo, wrote in the chat to Luca Palamara, former President of the National Association of Magistrates. “Attempts to enter Italy illegally are being made, and the Minister of the Interior is intervening to prevent this from happening.”


“You are right,” Palamara replied. “But now we have to attack [Salvini].”


The two also agreed on the importance of not allowing the contents of their chat of being publicised.

Elsewhere in the chat, Auriemma expressed his fear that efforts to attack Salvini could backfire, since, he says, “everyone thinks like him.” He also points out that the Italian public feels that “he did a good job in blocking the migrants.” He also said that Sicilian prosecutors who were targeting Salvini were “indefensible” because he was merely blocking illegal immigrants from entering the country.


Palamara himself was recently investigated for allegedly accepting bribes from lawyers who were involved in yet another corruption investigation.


This exchange is apparently only one example among many in the leaked conversations in which magistrates discussed the need to attack Salvini in spite of knowing that he was operating within the bounds of the law.


Salvini and other MPs from the Lega party are now calling for an investigation on the grounds that the messages indicate that the independence of the judiciary from politics has been violated. This is especially crucial now that there is a possibility of Salvini being sent for trial for these same alleged offences.



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