Europe

Italian prosecutor: no NGOs-migrant smuggler links emerge

A prosecutor based in Sicily has told Italian senators he hasn't found any links or contacts between migrant smugglers and humanitarian organizations operating rescue boats in the Mediterranean.

Last month, another Sicilian prosecutor raised alarm by saying his probe has evidence that some NGOs, created specifically to rescue migrants from foundering smugglers' boats, could be in collusion with human traffickers based in Libya, from where the vessels are launched.

But Syracuse Prosecutor Francesco Paolo Giordano told the Senate defense commission Tuesday his investigations found nothing to indicate any such links.

Giordano said some NGOs show less-than-cooperative attitudes toward judicial authorities. He attributed that to "ideological" differences, but stressed the NGOS allow unfettered access to migrants for questioning.