04:04 GMT18 February 2020
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    ROME (Sputnik) - Italian senators voted on Wednesday to strip former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini of immunity, paving the way for his trial on charges of illegally detaining migrants aboard the Gregoretti coastguard vessel.

    A court in Sicily has accused the leader of the right-wing Lega party of abuse of power for his decision to bar over a hundred migrants from disembarking in Italy last July, stranding them at sea for six days.

    The result of the vote will be formally announced at 7 p.m. local time (18:00 GMT) but Italian media estimated there were enough votes for the trial to get a go-ahead. Lega members walked out in protest.

    Addressing the parliament’s upper chamber ahead of the vote, Salvini said he considered it his duty to protect the national borders. He said he wanted to stand trial and would not defend himself.

    Tags:
    Lega Party, vessel, migrants, illegal, Matteo Salvini, Italy
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