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Senators vote to shield Salvini over migrant case

20 marzo 2019 | 14.14
LETTURA: 2 minuti

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Over half of Italy's upper house of parliament voted on Wednesday against sending Salvini to trial in the case of 177 migrants he detained for 10 days on a coastguard ship in August, Senate immunity panel chairman Maurizio Gasparri announced soon after voting began.

"A total of 232 votes (against prosecuting Salvini) have already been case, meaning the quorum has been amply exceeded and my resolution on blocking the request (from a Sicilian special court) has therefore passed - as can be seen on the voting screens," said Gasparri.

Voting in the 321-member Senate was due continue until to until 7pm, meaning the final result would only be announced at that time, said Gasparri, stating that he was "satisfied".

The Senate immunity committee in February overwhelmingly rejected a request from Catania's Court of Ministers for Salvini to face trial on charges including kidnapping over the rescued migrants who were stranded on the Diciotti until other states agreed to take them in.

Salvini's ruling League party, its conservative coalition partners and the grassroots 5 Star Movement - the League's partner in the coalition government - voted for the resolution, while those from the centre-left Democratic Party opposed it.

In his resolution, Gasparri argued that Salvini had acted in the Diciotti case "to safeguard the pre-eminent public interest by exercising the function of government".

The charges pressed against Salvini by the Catania court over the case carry a prison term of up to 15 years.

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