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Italy’s far-right leader Matteo Salvini facing trial for keeping migrants at sea

ITALY’S far-right leader Matteo Salvini could face up to 15 years behind bars after senators voted to lift his immunity so he can face trial over charges of holding migrants at sea.

The former interior minister (pictured) is accused of keeping 116 migrants on board a boat called the Gregoretti off Sicily for almost a week in July.

Left at sea: The Gregoretti in Sicily PICTURE: REUTERS

Senators voted 152-76 to scrap his immunity for actions taken in office. The leader of the League party said he wanted ‘to tell the world’ that his migration policies had ‘saved tens of thousands of lives’. He added: ‘I am absolutely calm and proud of what I have done. And I’ll do it again as soon as I get back into government.’

Migrants on the Gregoretti reportedly had only one toilet. Mr Salvini could also be prosecuted over the Open Arms vessel, another migrant ship that was offshore for days last August.