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Italian senators vote to lift ex-minister Salvini’s immunity, open way for trial over migrant ship

Italian senators vote to lift ex-minister Salvini’s immunity, open way for trial over migrant ship

The Italian Senate voted on Thursday to lift right-wing leader Matteo Salvini’s immunity. The move clears the way for possible charges against the former interior minister for refusing to allow 164 migrants to get off a ship in Sicily last August.

The case from last August is the third involving a rescue ship standoff in which Italian prosecutors have sought kidnapping charges against Salvini.

During his 14 months as interior minister, Salvini repeatedly denied ships carrying rescued migrants access to Italy’s ports. The policy resulted in numerous standoffs, leaving migrants stuck at sea for long weeks.

In the current case, Salvini refused access to the aid ship Open Arms, which remained at sea for three weeks until it was finally allowed to enter a port on the Italian island of Lampedusa, AP said.