captain pleads innocent as malta seeks to seize migrant rescue boat
Prosecutor Peter Reisch\'s summons in Valletta, the island\'s capital, also asked a magistrate to order the confiscation of the vessel he commanded leading to the lifeline of Malta.
Last month, the ship\'s crew carried 234 migrants in Libyan waters.
The destination of the rescued passengers has become the focus of debate among European countries.
Last week, Malta provided a safe port for the ship, but only after Italy and seven other countries except Malta promised to receive some immigrants.
In recent years, hundreds of migrants have arrived in Italy after being rescued at sea, many of whom have landed on private rescue boats. The right-
Matteo Salvini, Interior Minister of Italy\'s new populist government, vowed no longer to have such ships docked in Italian ports.
The lifeline, operated by the German rescue organization Mission Lifeline, was the second rescue ship found during the Italian crackdown.
On Saturday, the third Spanish aid-run ship, with open arms, rescued 60 migrants from a Libyan-launched boat --
Based on human traffickers.
Italy and Malta exchanged views on which of the two countries should open the arms terminal.
Finally, Spain agreed to let the ship land in Barcelona.
On Monday, Open Arms were located in the south of Sardinia, Italy, about 300 nautical miles from the destination.
Rescue groups say they are determined to save lives.
\"We did the right thing,\" said lifeline captain Klaus . \"
After the trial, Peter Reisch\'s bail is 10,000 euros ($15,350)
He was ordered to hand over his passport and report it to the police station every week. The 57-year-
The old German was accused of using the ship in Maltese waters without proper registration or licence.
The charge also includes allegations of illegal entry into Malta\'s waters.
If convicted, he may be fined and sentenced to 12 months in prison.
\"I don\'t think I have done anything illegal.
\"I saved 234 lives with Mission Lifeline and assisted in two other rescue operations,\" Reisch said . \".
\"Women, men and children are dying at sea.
No pictures of drowned bodies were seen in the newspaper.
I saw it with my own eyes, \"he added.
\"So when politicians say they should stop this behavior, maybe they should travel with us once.
EU \"scapegoat\" defense lawyer Cedric Mifsud told reporters that his client and lifeline appeared to be the \"scapegoat\" coast between EU countries on how to manage the bickering of immigrants into southern Europe.
\"We hope that this case is not a symptom of the current Mediterranean climate in which governments are closing the EU border and making rescue NGOs the goal of what the government should do, \"said Mifsud.
He added that the supporters of the rescue ship crew \"We suspect that the Maltese government is picking the lifeline incident and making a political statement the]
BRUSSELS-level border closure is required.
\"While Malta has seen relatively few rescued migrants in the past few years, aid organizations vessels have taken advantage of the strategic position of the small island country between Sicily and Libya, call for new supplies or crew members to the port.
However, the Maltese government announced last week that it would close the ports of all humanitarian aid vessels before the results of the lifeline investigation came out.
Officials say they want to determine whether aid groups operate the vessels in accordance with national and international laws.
Some crew members of the \"Save Life\" life line number wear T-
A shirt with the words \"Save Life\" on it.
The rescue vessel was blocked and \"they were holding a white sheet with this sentence printed on it . \".
More than 400 people died, \"outside the court.
This sentence clearly refers to many migrants who have been believed to have drowned outside Libya in recent days.
Italy and its EU partners insist that the Libyan coast guard\'s job is to rescue in search and rescue --and-rescue area.
Private aid groups say rescue ships were not at sea because of legal disasters such as Lifeline, or because the Italian coast guard said the rescue was Libya\'s responsibility and were killed.
The Libyan Coast Guard has received training, motorboats and equipment from Italy. They say they need more help to save lives.
In comments to reporters, Captain Reisch of lifeline questioned the capabilities and professional spirit of the Libyan coast guard.
Their ship has no life.
Jacket and medical [kits].