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New York: Friday, February 21, 2020
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Italy's Senate to decide whether to lift Salvini's immunity

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Italy’s Senate to decide whether to lift Salvini’s immunity

ROME (AP) – The Italian Senate is deciding Wednesday whether to permit former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini to be prosecuted – as he calls for to be – for alleging holding migrants hostage for days aboard a coast guard ship as an alternative of letting them instantly disembark in Sicily final summer time.

Salvini, a senator, says lifting his immunity and being on trial for alleged kidnapping is tantamount to defending Italy from unlawful migrants, who the opposition populist chief blames for crime and for taking away jobs from Italians.

The results of the Senate vote is predicted on Wednesday night. With Salvini’s celebration and allies within the opposition, the movement might go, leaving him open for trial. Any conviction might carry a pri-son sentence starting from six months to 15 years.

Last month, fellow senators from Salvini’s right-wing League celebration, following their chief’s needs, voted in a Senate fee in favor of lifting the immunity.

Prosecutors in Sicily had investigated Salvini for alleged kidnapping for conserving the 131 rescued migrants for six days aboard the Gregoretti, an Italian coast guard vessel, in July 2019. That drama was one in every of a number of standoffs that performed out within the Mediterranean Sea whereas Salvini waged a crackdown on migrant rescue ships as inside minister and deputy premier in Premier Giuseppe Conte’s first authorities.

Eventually, the prosecutors shelved the case. But one other judicial physique, the Tribunal of Ministers, determined to proceed.

Salvini’s League is now within the opposition after he pulled his celebration out of Conte’s authorities in August in a failed bid for an early election.

Coming to Salvin’s protection in Senate debate Wednesday was a fellow opposition senator from ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right celebration. “Italians are on the side of Salvini “for trying to stop illegal immigration,” Sen. Daniela Santanche stated.

Opinion surveys have tagged Salvini as one in every of Italy’s hottest leaders.

League Sen. Erika Stefani opened the talk by insisting that Conte’s authorities had shared and facilitated Salvini’s crackdown on migrants rescued at sea from Libya-based trafficker’s boats.

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