Italy’s Senate has voted to allow the prosecution of ex-interior minister Matteo Salvini for blocking a migrant ship off Italy’s coast last August.
More than 100 migrants were stuck on the Spanish rescue ship Open Arms for 19 days off the isle of Lampedusa.
Prosecutors in Sicily accuse Mr Salvini of illegal detention, which could bring a jail term of up to 15 years.
The anti-immigration, right-wing politician is already set to stand trial in a similar case.
The Senate voted 149 to 141 to strip him of his parliamentary immunity in the latest case, paving the way for prosecution.
Mr Salvini, 47, insists that preventing irregular migrants from disembarking in Italy was government policy at the time.
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