Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Italian captain sentenced to prison for returning migrants to Libya

Italian captain sentenced to prison for returning migrants to Libya

An Italian court has sentenced a captain to a year in prison for handing migrants his ship’s crew rescued over to the Libyan coast guard in 2018. The incident had sparked heated debate in Italy.

A court in Naples sentenced Giuseppe Sotgiu, the commander of the ‘Asso Ventotto’ (Italian for Ace 28) ship, to a year in prison, according to a report published Thursday by Italian newspaper Avvenire.

This is reportedly the first time a commercial vessel captain has been sentenced in this type of case.

The Asso 28 is an Italian-flagged offshore supply ship owned by the Augusta company that supplies oil platforms off Libya.

The ship made big headlines in July 2018, when its crew rescued 101 migrants near an oil and gas rig in international waters between Libya and the Italian island of Lampedusa, and then returned them to Libya.