Italy's ex-minister Salvini to face trial in migrant detention case

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 13, 2020, 08.40 AM(IST)

Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini (File photo) Photograph:( Reuters )

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The Senate voted 152-76 in favour of removing the legal protection given to Salvini. 

Italian far-right leader and former interior minister Matteo Salvini will face trial after Senators voted on Wednesday to strip him of the parliamentary protection.

A court in Sicily had earlier said Salvini faces trial for illegally detaining migrants at sea last July. 

However, ministers cannot be tried in Italy while in office unless their parliamentary immunity is removed.

Also read: In a new migrant standoff, Italy's Salvini blocks two NGO boats

The Senate voted 152-76 in favour of removing the legal protection given to Salvini. 

If found guilty, the head of the anti-immigrant League party can be sentenced to imprisonment upto 15 years. 

"I have defended Italy. I have full and total faith in the justice system," Salvini said after the vote.

The former deputy premier also said that he is proud of what he has done, adding he would take similar action if he got back into power.

Salvini refused to let 116 rescued migrants leave the Gregoretti coast guard boat. 

Salvini stressed the decision had the backing of the government and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.