Italy's Senate voted on Thursday to strip far-right chief Matteo Salvini of his parliamentary immunity, paving the way for him to face trial, for a second time, over allegedly illegally detaining migrants at sea.
Salvini, a senator, now looks set for a potentially career-derailing case on charges that could see him serve up to 15 years in jail if convicted.
The Senate voted 149 to 141 to strip Salvini of his immunity, with one abstention.
"I am proud to have defended Italy. I would do it again and I will do it again, also because just this July the arrivals are six times those seen in the same period a year ago, with the League party in government," a defiant Salvini told the Senate after the vote.
The head of the anti-immigrant League party is already set to stand trial in a separate but similar case.