Former Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, now leader of the right-wing League party, faces kidnapping charges for refusing to allow a ship full of migrants to disembark in the country there is two years old. The migrants remained stranded off Sicily for 19 days.
The “American Gigolo” actor was in Italy at the time, working as an activist for the Spanish non-governmental organization Proactiva Open Arms, which provided food and medical care to migrants on board the ship.
Other witnesses approved by the Palermo court on Saturday include former Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, as well as a host of top Italian politicians.
“Now you tell me how serious a trial is where Richard Gere comes from Hollywood to testify how bad I am,” Salvini said.
Proactiva Open Arms told the court Gere could report directly on conditions aboard the ship, which was stranded off the Italian island of Lampedusa for 19 days before prosecutors ordered the evacuation of people on board , Reuters reported.