AGRIGENTO – The German captain of a migrant rescue ship appeared in an Italian court on Monday, as her case sparked fresh tension between Rome and Berlin.
Sea-Watch 3 skipper Carola Rackete was arrested after hitting a police speed boat while entering Lampedusa port with 40 people rescued from the Mediterranean.
Her vessel, banned from docking by Italian authorities, knocked the speedboat while pulling up to the pier on Saturday after a two-week stand-off at sea.
The 31-year-old, who was escorted by police to court in the Sicilian city of Agrigento, stands accused of putting the speedboat and the safety of its occupants at risk and could face up to 10 years in jail if convicted.
Monday's court hearing was on the validity of her arrest and the judge's ruling is expected on Tuesday.
After the hearing, one of Rackete's lawyers, Alessandro Gamberini, said her client had acted out of necessity as "the situation was getting progressively worse" on the ship and risked becoming "uncontrollable". – AFP