Matteo Salvini: “I will declare myself guilty of defending Italy and the Italian people”

Like Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, former Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has been subjected to prosecutions for political reasons. The latest judicial proceeding against him is a charge of “kidnapping” for his actions as interior minister in forbidding the landing of migrant-ferry vessels at Italian ports.

Mr. Salvini is also campaigning for the Lega in the regional elections in Apulia, which will be held later this month. In the following video he is speaking to a crowd of supporters in Manduria.

Many thanks to FouseSquawk for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes and RAIR Foundation for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

13:04   I’ll be going on trial October 3.
13:09   I will go on trial October 3,
13:13   but not like the usual politicians who go on trial
13:17   because they have stolen. I will go on trial
13:21   because I blocked the disembarkation of illegal immigrants into our country.
13:36   And I promise you two things: One — as soon as I return to government
13:42   as president of the council, I will re-close the ports [unintelligible],
13:48   because in Italy you only come in with a permit — otherwise you go home.
13:58   …for those who say we are citizens of the world
14:02   and there are no borders, go say that tomorrow in Switzerland, try to go to Canada
14:06   to Australia, to the US, to Saudi Arabia.
14:11   They’ll send you home after three minutes, and that’s good,
14:14   given that it serves no [unintelligible],
14:18   and that’s good. So I will not only return to closing the ports, but when I am in that tribunal
14:24   on that Saturday morning in October, first of all, if they want to put me
14:28   in fear, those of the PD, with the trial,
14:32   they will absolutely not put me in fear, nor the League, because
14:37   if a man isn’t ready to fight all the way
14:43   to defend his ideas, either his ideas aren’t worth anything,
14:49   or he isn’t worth anything, and as long as God gives me strength,
14:54   I won’t back down from pressing ahead.
14:58   And on that morning, I’ll say more, when the judge
15:02   asks me, “You know you are accused of kidnapping
15:07   the penalty of which calls for 15 years in jail.
15:13   Do you plead guilty or innocent?”
15:18   I will declare myself guilty of defending Italy
15:22   and the Italian people.
15:26   Honored to have upheld the laws, the honor, the borders,
15:30   and the dignity of my country. Long live Manduria.
15:34   Long live Taranto, Long live Apulia, that it will change,
15:38   and long live the women and men of this country. Thank you, thank you, and thank you.
15:43   Let’s win.
15:48   And this square will be remembered in the coming months.
15:52   You have given me strength that I will never forget.
15:55   Thank you, Manduria. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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