The Tunisian captain of a boat overcrowded with migrants that capsized off Libya on Sunday, has been charged with reckless homicide after hundreds of migrants died in the water.
The captain has also been charged with favouring illegal immigration alongside one another member of his crew.
The two men were rescued from the sinking boat along with 25 others people, and arrived in Sicily late on Monday.
The charges follow an agreement by EU ministers to step up search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean to try and reduce the number of fatalities in people attempting to flee to Europe away from the instability in Africa and the Middle East.
Alongside the search and rescue operations, the EU also said that it would launch a campaign to destroy the boats of people traffickers while they are in port, to try and stop people making the voyage.
Thousands of migrants have died over the last year attempting to reach European shores, mostly in Italy, Greece, and southern Spain.