Italy: Pro-Migration Former Mayor on Trial for Aiding Illegal Immigration


Former Italian mayor Domenico Lucano could face house arrest as he and several others are on trial for aiding illegal migration.

Mr Lucano, whose nickname is “Mimmo”, is among 27 defendants on trial for a number of charges relating to illegal immigration and was initially banned from setting foot in the town until that court order was recently overturned, Il Giornale reports.

The former mayor of Riace was arrested in October of 2018 on charges of aiding illegal migration, embezzlement, and abuse of office, although the charges of embezzlement were later rejected.

The prosecutor of Locri presented a motion in front of the Court of Review of Reggio Calabria involving a precautionary measure that could see Lucano placed under house arrest during the trial, with a decision expected in the next several days.

The pro-migration mayor became well-known across Italy as early as 2011 for his open door policies for asylum seekers and was even hailed as the saviour of Riace by the BBC in an article which claimed he “turned the asylum seekers’ arrival into a win-win situation for all sides.”

While Riace was famous across Italy for its pro-migration policies due to Lucano, the European Parliament elections held this year saw the small town swing in an entirely different political direction.

Populist leader Matteo Salvini and his League (Lega) party won the most votes in the town, polling over 30 per cent.

Just before the election, Salvini slammed Lucano, saying, “When I go to Calabria, people ask me for more work, not more immigrants.”

During his time as Interior Minister, Salvini oversaw a massive reduction in the number of newly arriving illegal migrants but the new leftist coalition government looks set to reopen the borders to NGOs operating migrant transport ships.

At a rally in front of an estimated 80,000 people, Salvini said he would look to trigger national referendums on immigration to stop the new government from reopening the ports.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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