Lifeline will get OK to dock, set to be seized - Malta

Muscat says NGO ship ignored international law in migrant rescue

(ANSA) - Rome, June 27 - Maltese Premier Joseph Muscat said Wednesday that the Lifeline will be given permission to dock in Malta later in the day, adding that the migrant-rescue ship is set to be impounded. The ship, which is at the centre of an international wrangle, was given permission to enter Maltese waters to shelter from bad weather conditions earlier on Wednesday but did not get the green light to dock.
    "The Lifeline will be sequestered for the launch of an investigation," Muscat told a news conference.
    "The captain of the vessel ignored international laws".
    The NGO ship has been stranded for days in the Mediterranean after picking up the migrants in distress off the Libyan coast.
    The Italian government had threatened to impound the Lifeline if it came to Italy, saying the rescue was illegal. Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte said Tuesday that Malta had agreed to allow it to land there as part of a deal under which Italy and other EU countries would receive quotas of the migrants on board. However, the spokesman for the NGO, Axel Steier, told ANSA that German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer had stopped Germany from taking part in the agreement to take in a share of the 233 migrants onboard.
    Steier said Seehofer was "Germany's Salvini". Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has spearheaded the tough stance on migrants of the new League/5-Star Movement (M5S) government that saw another NGO-run migrant-rescue ship, the Aquarius, have to travel to Valencia after it was denied permission to dock in an Italian port.