“Sea-watch 3: hearing of captain rackete postponed

RomeCarola Rackete, the captain of the German aid organization Sea-Watch, wants the Italian Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini sue – for defamation. "We have already prepared a lawsuit (against Minister Salvini)," Rackete's lawyer Alessandro Gamberini told Radio Cusano Campus on Friday.

At the same time, Salvini faces a hearing – but it will not take place on Tuesday as previously planned. The scheduled appointment with the prosecutor's office in the Sicilian city of Agrigento was delayed, Rackete's lawyer told the German Press Agency. Reason is Strike of the criminal defense lawyers. A new date was not initially set.

If the hearing is delayed for a very long time, Rackete is considering coming to Germany in the meantime, Sea-Watch spokesman Ruben Neugebauer told dpa. So far, the 31-year-old, who grew up in Hambuhren, Lower Saxony, is in Italy.

Rackete must wait for hearing – own lawsuit in preparation

Rackete still needs time for her own lawsuit against Salvini. It is not easy, he said, to collect all the insults Salvini has uttered in these weeks. Salvini had not only insulted Rackete, but also incited him to criminal acts.

That's even more serious when it's an interior minister doing it, Gamberini said, "He's the one who's Waves of hatred moves.It is difficult to counter this hatred with a libel suit," she said. But it is a matter of setting an example, he says. Just Friday, Salvini called the 31-year-old a "rich and spoiled German communist" on Facebook.

Carola Rackete criticizes the German government

In an interview with the "Spiegel" said Carola Rackete on Salvini: "I was surprised how personal it has become." It should be about the failure of the European Union, "not about individuals like me who happen to appear," Rackete tells the magazine. "It's not a situation that I would have wished for. I was just filling in for a colleague who was actually scheduled anyway."

Rackete criticized the German government in this context. She had "felt left alone", she told the "Spiegel" in her first interview after the Freilang. "My impression was that at the national and international level, no one really wanted to help," the 31-year-old said, "they kept passing the hot potato, while at last count we still had 40 rescued people on board with us."

German municipalities had offered to take in refugees from the "Sea-Watch". "But it then also failed because of German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who had no desire, accept the offers of the cities," said Rackete.

On Saturday, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer asked his counterpart Salvini to open Italy's ports to refugees rescued from distress at sea. Germany ready to take in refugees, he offered Friday. Salvini replied: "Absolutely not."

Carola Rackete: "Sea-Watch 3" captain was released Tuesday

The case of "Sea-Watch 3" and their temporarily set Captain Carola Rackete has made wide circles in Europe. Rackete had entered the port of the Italian island of Lampedusa with the rescue ship and 40 migrants on board without permission. After being arrested, she has been at large since Tuesday night – and in a "safe place," according to the aid agency.

There had previously been threats against Rackete. Sea-Watch would not comment on whether she will continue to be in the Sicilian town of Agrigento or elsewhere in Italy.

Rackete remains in Italy for now – questioning on Tuesday

It is clear, however, that Rackete will remain in Italy for the time being. According to her father, she will return to Germany "not quite so quickly". She has slept well in her new domicile and wants to stay in Italy for the second hearing, Ekkehart Rackete from Hambuhren (district of Celle) told the German press agency. She is to be questioned on Tuesday on charges of aiding and abetting illegal migration.

An Italian investigating judge had lifted the house arrest against the 31-year-old. Carola Rackete was relieved about her release. The Italian judge's decision is a victory for solidarity with all people on the run and against the criminalization of aid workers in many European countries, the 31-year-old German said in an initial reaction shared by the aid organization Sea-Watch on Twitter.

Carola Rackete: Italy's interior minister wants to expel captain

Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said Rackete should be expelled from the country for endangering national security. "She is returning to her Germany, where they would not be so tolerant of an Italian woman endangering the lives of German police officers," Salvini said.

Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) Welcomed the decision of the Italian court. "I am relieved about today's decision by the Italian investigating court to release Carola Rackete," he told the "Rheinische Post" (Wednesday). "I hope that the accusations against Ms. Rackete will now be quickly clarified in the procedures provided for this purpose." Saving human lives is not a crime, but a humanitarian act, he said.

Bundestag vice president Claudia Roth (Greens) Called on the German government to change course in refugee policy. 'Private sea rescue should be superfluous, because sea rescue is state task, Green Party politician told our editorial staff'. "It would be about time that the federal government also understands this and finally goes ahead."The government could have long ago tried to forge a 'coalition of the willing' instead of hiding behind the search for a pan-European solution that will not come anytime soon.

Prosecutor is said to have requested expulsion of Carola Rackete

According to the 31-year-old's lawyer, the prosecution had Resisting a military vessel and Resisting law enforcement officials Reproached. She could also face charges of aiding and abetting illegal immigration and, in the worst case, imprisonment.

Either way, the case remains controversial. Already at the quay in the port of Lampedusa, reactions to the entry of the "Sea-Watch 3" were mixed. As Carola Rackete led away in handcuffs and then taken into house arrest will be, applause could be heard from the pier, but also shouts of "shame" and "get lost". Italian authorities had bitterly resisted the docking of the "Sea-Watch 3".

Steinmeier: Lifesavers are not criminals

The EU Commission, in connection with the case of the "Sea-Watch 3," called for a new approach to the distribution of refugees with more solidarity among member states. "It is very clear that we can not continue like this," said EU Commissioner for Refugees Dimitris Avramopoulos our editorial office.

The most recent odyssey of the "Sea-Watch 3" started on 12. June, when the organization took in a total of 53 boat refugees off Libya. Since then, the organization waited in vain for the allocation of a safe haven. In the middle of last week, the captain finally steered Rackete into the territorial waters of Italy.

Rackete experiences a lot of solidarity in Germany. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier Declared on ZDF that "anyone who saves human lives cannot be a criminal". Like Foreign Minister Maas (SPD) warned the acting SPD leader Malu Dreyer against criminalizing sea rescue operations. "We prevent the human drama in the Mediterranean by fighting the causes of flight and not looking the other way when people make the life-threatening journey to a safe port," she told our editorial team.

But Bundestag President Wolfgang Schauble also said that sea rescue organizations should avoid "sending wrong signals with their work and thus promoting the business of smugglers". Italy's interior minister Matteo Salvini from the extreme right-wing Lega party spoke of "criminals" and an "act of war".

Bohmermann and Heufer-Umlauf collect donations for Rackete

For Left-wing parliamentary group leader Dietmar Bartsch, the 31-year-old captain deserves a medal. Immediate help was provided by the TV presenters Jan Bohmermann and Klaas Heufer-Umlauf. They called for donations. In the meantime, more than one million euros have already been collected..

Rackete needs the money – for lawyers' fees and legal costs. Her maneuver should give her a Charged with aiding and abetting illegal immigration and violating the law of the sea bring in, possibly also for resistance against the state power. Three times the coast guard and customs had asked them to turn away – in vain. With her 600-ton vessel, Rackete pushes off a Customs police speedboat.

Father of Carola Rackete: "She never had a social revolutionary streak"

Anyone who talks to people who know Carola Rackete learns that the young German had been very tense during the last few days on the ship. At the same time, she also "acted decisively" in this exceptional situation, says Ruben Neugebauer, spokesman for the organization Sea-Watch. "She is one of our most courageous captains."On the videos, Carola Rackete repeatedly describes the situation on the ship in a calm tone.

Ekkehart Rackete describes his daughter as politically interested and analytical. "She did not go blue-eyed on an adventure trip," the 74-year-old told dpa. Before she flew to Lampedusa, she had been in contact with the Italian legal counsel of Sea-Watch. Through her job as a nautical officer, she says she is used to making decisions and assessing the situation beforehand. She did what she thought was necessary as long as she didn't harm anyone, says her father. "She has never had a social revolutionary streak."

Future of rescued refugees still uncertain

Meanwhile, it is still largely unclear what the future holds for the refugees rescued by the "Sea-Watch 3". There were 40 people who disembarked. 13 others had already been evacuated by the Italian coast guard in the days before because they needed medical help.

For now, the people are housed in a reception camp on the island, a so-called hotspot. But the Italian government has made it clear that they will not be staying in Italy for the long term.

In addition to Germany, France, Luxembourg, Finland and Portugal have agreed to take in refugees. In Germany, the people will then be distributed among the federal states according to the so-called Konigsstein Key. The Federal Republic has already taken in refugees rescued from distress at sea in the past. 

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