July 1, 2019 / 10:02 AM / 3 months ago

Germany: Fair legal process must result in release of German rescue ship captain

FILE PHOTO: Carola Rackete, the 31-year-old Sea-Watch 3 captain, is escorted off the ship by police and taken away for questioning, in Lampedusa, Italy June 29, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

BERLIN (Reuters) - The German government believes that the only possible outcome of a fair legal process for the German captain of a rescue ship who defied Rome’s ban on docking to bring migrants ashore can be her release, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday.

A war of words broke out between Germany and Italy on Sunday after Carola Rackete, who spent two weeks in international waters with dozens of rescued African migrants, was arrested on Saturday when the Sea-Watch 3 ship docked at the island port of Lampedusa without permission.

“We will once again make clear to Italy that from our point of view, due legal process can only result in the release of #CarolaRackete,” Maas said on Twitter, adding that haggling in Europe over the distribution of refugees needed to end.

Reporting by Michelle Martin, editing by Thomas Escritt

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