Die Welt put up the article, and had a video-report also attached.....which the Italian government lays out the case that a German charity operation was working hand-in-hand with people-smugglers connected to the Med. It looks pretty bad for the charity, and I'm guessing someone will be dragged into court and have to face some consequence.
So, the question has to be asked....if this German charity operation has some kind of deal with the people-smugglers....what about the rest of the charity-run vessels in the Med....are they the same way? It's unknown, but you have to sit there and calculate that some kind of arrangement has been made.
An embarrassment? It basically puts the news media crowd into an awkward position. You'd like to tell positive stories over the raft-people being rescued....at least that's the trend for the past two years. Now? If the Italians take this into court and prove with their evidence....it brings a whole new light to the topic and forces the news media to back off the coverage.
Why the charity operation got into this deal? That would be a great question to ask. My guess is that they came to realize that they were going to be unable to find these rafts in time to save the migrants....so they sought out some middle-guy, and there was some type of resolution. I won't suggest money was exchanged, or that the charity operations were just an extension of the smuggling operation. It wouldn't surprise me if some of the foundations behind the charity operations (the funding arm) were the ones that figured out some arrangement with the smugglers.
What happens now? The Italians say that if you don't cooperate as a charity operation and be transparent (to include having an Italian cop onboard)....you probably won't get a clearance to enter an Italian harbor. That means you can't off-load your raft-people, and it creates a logistical problem. My guess is that they will start to cooperate.....then admit quickly that they can't find the rafts quiet as easily....with more raft-people sinking into the Med for a while. To make the float from the Libyan coast to the nearest Italian isle? Roughly 200 miles.