The announcement follows Wednesday’s vote in the Italian parliament, where 152 vs 76 senators chose to indict Salvini.

League senators abstained from the vote, walking out of the Senate.

Salvini was indicted because of an incident dating back to last July, when 131 migrants were prevented from disembarking a rescue ship in an Italian port for almost a week.

He was interior minister at the time, and had ordered the closure of all Italian ports to migrant rescue ships.

The League was part of the governing coalition last year, but ended up in the opposition benches after Salvini triggered a government crisis last August, which led to the formation of a new coalition between the Five Star Movement (M5S) and the Democratic Party (PD).

On Wednesday, after the Senate vote, Salvini wrote on Twitter: “I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of. I am proud of what I did when I was in office and I’m going to reaffirm this at the trial.”

He held a press conference on Thursday, where he defended his work as the then interior minister, saying he had “achieved what nobody else managed to” in terms of migration policies.

Earlier in January, he advised his League colleagues in the Senate to vote in favour of his indictment, in a stunt that was seen as an attempt to win support before the Emilia-Romagna regional election, which he then lost.

The ball is now in the court of magistrates, who, barring surprises, will set a date for the first hearing, which will be held in Catania.

If successfully prosecuted at trial, Salvini could face up to 15 years in jail.

Salvini will also face another indictment vote on similar allegations.

On February 27, a Senate committee will rule on whether to charge him with “detaining” 107 migrants on an NGO boat in Sicily, between August 14 and 20, 2019.