Salvini reacts after Mattarella says no one is above the law

I closed ports legally says interior minister

(ANSA) - Rome, September 12 - President Sergio Mattarella said no one is above the law on Wednesday, comments that sparked a reaction from Interior Minister and Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini. Salvini was at the centre of controversy last week over statements he made after he was notified he was being probed for aggravated kidnapping for refusing to allow a group of migrants saved by the Coast Guard to disembark for 10 days and his comments about a ruling on the seizure of funds from his League party over a fraud case. "No citizen is above the law," Mattarella said at the Lower House during an event celebrating the memory of former head of State Oscar Luigi Scalfaro.
    "The republic and its democracy are presided over by rules, the respect of which is indispensable, always, no matter what the intention is of those who propose breaking them. "Elected judges do not exist in our system. Our magistrates derive their legitimacy and authoritativeness from the role given to them by the Constitution.
    "So they are not called upon to follow electoral orientations, they must apply the law and its rules".
    Salvini responded by saying that his policy of closing Italy's ports to ships carrying migrants after rescues at sea was legal. "Today President Mattarella recalled that no one is above the law and he is right," said Salvini, the leader of the rightwing League party. "That is why I, respecting the law, the Constitution and the commitment taken with respect to the Italian people, closed the ports to human traffickers.
    "Investigate me and put me on trial, but I'll keep going".