A 43-year-old Indian migrant’s release from police custody after he tried to abduct a girl from a beach resort in Italy has sparked calls for his deportation.
Justice minister Andrea Orlando has sent inspectors to the Ragusa city prosecutor’s office after Ram Lubhaya -- who was caught while trying to abduct a 5-year-old girl off a beach near the Sicilian city of Ragusabut -- was released because attempted kidnapping is a non-carcerable offence under Italian law.
The parents had chased and fought with Lubhaya to get him to let go of their child. Lubhaya was arrested an hour later based on eyewitness descriptions, Ansa news agency reported.
Prosecutor Giulia Bisello ordered the man - who has a criminal record, no residency permit, and currently makes a living by creating henna tattoos on the beach where he also sometimes spends the night - released without questioning.
Her decision sparked an outcry on social media and a wave of calls from concerned beachgoers to police emergency services, which prompted Bisello to track the suspect and get him arrested again.
However, after questioning him for several hours, the prosecutors ordered his release again, based on the legal code.
“This law makes me vomit,” said the child’s mother. “We were told the suspect did not conclude the crime -- we were supposed to lose sight of him in order to say he kidnapped our little girl”.
The suspect, she said, only stopped “because we tackled him. He was holding her very tight, with her face almost in his armpit. We were hoping this person would be deported from Italy at least”.
While prosecutors’ decisions can’t be challenged, Orlando’s inspectors are tasked with assessing whether there were any “abnormalities or violations of the law that could be subject to disciplinary action”, the ministry said.