Image copyright EPA Image caption Matteo Salvini has repeatedly said he wants to defend himself in court Italy’s Senate has voted to allow prosecutors to put far-right leader Matteo Salvini on trial over charges of holding migrants at sea.Mr Salvini, who previously served as Italy’s interior minister, is accused of illegally keeping people on a…

Matteo Salvini in the Italian senate

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Matteo Salvini has repeatedly mentioned he must defend himself in court docket

Italy’s Senate has voted to enable prosecutors to place a long way-upright leader Matteo Salvini on trial over charges of keeping migrants at sea.

Mr Salvini, who beforehand served as Italy’s interior minister, is accused of illegally keeping of us on a ship off Sicily for days in August 2019.

Some 116 migrants remained aboard the Gregoretti for shut to per week.

On Wednesday, a majority of senators voted for the trial of the anti-immigration League leader to head ahead.

Mr Salvini has repeatedly mentioned he must head to court docket. He told the chamber he important “to expose the realm” that his migration policies “saved tens of hundreds of lives.”

“I am entirely still and proud of what I surely beget performed. And I wander to withhold out it again as soon as I come again into authorities,” he mentioned later.

Senators from his League occasion left the chamber in position of pick phase in Wednesday’s vote.

Beneath Italian legislation, ministers beget parliamentary immunity for actions taken while they were in position of labor. Nevertheless a committee voted final month to strip Mr Salvini of his immunity – leaving the last decision in the fingers of the Senate on Wednesday.

The vote consequence is expected by 19: 00 native time (18: 00 GMT). If successfully prosecuted at trial, Mr Salvini might almost definitely maybe face as much as 15 years in penitentiary.

What is Mr Salvini accused of?

For years, some in Italy beget complained that the nation has taken in a wide number of migrants fleeing all the diagram by the Mediterranean, and has known as for various EU countries to come to a decision their part.

Mr Salvini in particular took a exhausting stance on migrant boats while he became in position of labor, imposing a closed ports coverage.

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Media captionThousands of migrants are smooth losing their lives attempting to reach Europe by boat

On 25 July 2019, Italian coastguard ship the Gregoretti picked up about 140 migrants attempting to scamper to Italy from Libya.

Whereas the Gregoretti allowed several of us off the ship for clinical consideration, some 116 of us remained on board for days while Mr Salvini demanded various EU countries pick them in.

The decision drew a staunch away backlash. Prosecutors opened an investigation into situations aboard after experiences that migrants only had one bathroom between them.

After the Catholic Church and assorted states agreed to cherish those on board, in a deal which then EU commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos helped to dealer, Mr Salvini in the cessation consented to permit them to dock on 31 July.

The League leader insists the decision to withhold the migrants offshore had the red meat up of High Minister Giuseppe Conte and the rest of the authorities.

Nevertheless prosecutors imagine he acted on my own, ignoring repeated requests from Mr Conte to initiate them.

Italy’s Populist 5 Smartly-known person Movement – at the time in coalition with the League – had backed Mr Salvini in outdated situations, reminiscent of when 140 migrants on board the Diciotti vessel were no longer allowed to embark in Sicily for six days in the summertime of 2018.

Nevertheless the occasion says that in the case of the Gregoretti he acted on my own.

Later in February Mr Salvini moreover faces losing his immunity over another migrant case. He’s accused of keeping the Open Palms migrant vessel offshore for days in August final twelve months.

At the time, High Minister Conte known as Mr Salvini “obsessed” with keeping migrants out of Italy.

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