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Two Northern Irishmen to be extradited over Vietnamese truck deaths

Two Northern Irishmen to be extradited over Vietnamese truck deaths

Saturday, June 13, 2020, 09:24 GMT+7
Two Northern Irishmen to be extradited over Vietnamese truck deaths
Dublin's Criminal Courts of Justice are pictured after Ronan Hughes, a 40-year-old from County Armagh in Northern Ireland was arrested in connection with the deaths of 39 Vietnamese nationals who were found in a lorry trailer in Essex, south-east England, in October 2019. Photo: Reuters

DUBLIN — Two Northern Irishmen are set to be extradited to Britain to face manslaughter charges over the deaths of 39 Vietnamese people found in the back of a truck near London last year, Ireland’s courts heard on Friday. 

Ireland’s High Court approved the handover to Britain of Ronan Hughes, 40, on charges of manslaughter and immigration offenses. 

A separate court dismissed an appeal against extradition by Eamonn Harrison, 23, who also faces human trafficking charges. 

Northern Irish truck driver Maurice Robinson pleaded guilty to 39 counts of manslaughter related to the deaths in March. 

The victims, 31 men and boys and eight women whose ages ranged from 15 to 44, were discovered in October in a container at the back of a truck driven by Robinson to an industrial estate in Grays in Essex, about 30 kilometers east of London.

Ireland’s High Court heard that UK authorities allege that Hughes organized the drivers and travel.

They also alleged in a separate case last year that Harrison delivered the trailer in which the people were found to a Belgian port before its onward journey to Britain. 

Irish broadcaster RTE reported that Hughes asked to be handed over to the UK authorities as soon as possible. 

Neither Harrison nor Hughes have yet to enter a plea in relation to the substance of the allegations as their hearings have only concerned extradition.

Reuters / Tuoi Tre News

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