Middle East

Migrant rescue ship captain heads to Italian court hearing

ROME (AP) — The German captain of a humanitarian migrant rescue ship is being taken in an Italian border police motorboat to a court hearing on whether she stays under house arrest.

Italian state radio said Carola Rackete was being escorted Monday from the tiny island of Lampedusa to a port in Sicily, where she will be transferred to a courtroom in the town of Agrigento.

A judge will question her in the presence of her lawyers and prosecutors.

On Saturday, Rackete’s defied Italy’s anti-migrant interior minister, Matteo Salvini, and port authorities, by steering Sea-Watch 3 to Lampedusa’s dock so 40 migrants, which the ship rescued on June 12, could disembark.

Prosecutors allege she deliberately rammed a border police boat blocking her path. Rackete’s lawyers say she didn’t intend to harm anyone.

Photo: Sea-Watch 3 captain Carola Rackete is seen on board the vessel at sea in the Mediterranean, just off the coasts of the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, Thursday, June 27, 2019. The captain of the humanitarian rescue ship says that Italian law enforcement officials have told them that a resolution is near for 42 migrants rescued at sea that Italy’s populist government has so far refused to allow to disembark. (ANSA/Matteo Guidelli via AP)

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