An Italian prosecutor has told a court in Sicily there is no reason to put the right-wing leader, Matteo Salvini, on trial for alleged kidnapping when he refused to allow more than a hundred migrants ashore in 2019.
At the hearing in Catania, Prosecutor Andrea Bonomo said Salvini's decision did not violate international treaties and was not to be considered kidnapping.
After the hearing Salvini told reporters: "I am happy. The Prosecutor has excluded crimes and kidnapping. He said that I have respected national and international laws.
"We have saved lives, we have woken up Europe, we have restored dignity and security to Italy. So, I am going back quietly to my children in the hope that May 14 we will close it."
Salvini was Italy's interior minister in the summer of 2019 and insisted that EU nations must accept migrants who were being brought to Italian shores.
The coastguard ship, Gregoretti, had 116 people onboard who were refused permission to land for five days.
Salvini leads the anti-immigration League Party and insists he was carrying out government policy.
A final decision by a judge on whether there will be a trial is expected in mid-May.