Irish lorry driver challenges his extradition to the UK over 39 lorry deaths

Irish lorry driver Eamonn Harrison challenges his extradition to the UK to face manslaughter charges after 39 migrants died in refrigerated truck

  • UK prosecutors want to bring Eamonn Harrison to Britain to face charges
  • He allegedly delivered container in which 39 people died to Belgian port
  • His lawyer claims the warrant to send him to the UK has a number of errors 

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Eamonn Harrison faces extradition to the UK over the deaths of 39 migrants last month

Extradition proceedings have begun against an Irish lorry driver who faces charges over the deaths of 39 migrants in a container in Essex.

Eamonn Harrison, 22, was brought before a court in Dublin today as his legal team challenged the move to send him to the UK to face charges.

Harrison’s lawyer, Siobhan Stack, raised a number of issues with the extradition warrant, in particular the ‘sparseness of the facts’ contained within it that she said gave no information as to where the deaths occurred and what Harrison’s involvement was. 

The court heard Harrison is sought in respect of 41 offences, 39 counts of manslaughter which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, one count of a human trafficking offence and one count of assisting unlawful immigration.

Harrison drove the lorry used to deliver a container to the port in Zeebrugge and was identified as the driver on CCTV in Belgium, the court heard.

Mr Harrison signed the shipping notice for the container, which was later found in Essex with the bodies of 39 people inside, Dublin Central Criminal Court heard.

Irish lorry driver challenges his extradition to the UK over 39 lorry deaths

The group, who were all from Vietnam, were found dead in the back of this lorry in Essex

Harrison’s lawyer, Ms Stack SC, raised a number of issues with the warrant for extradition.

‘The fundamental defect is limited information,’ she told the court.

She says that where and when exactly Mr Harrison committed his alleged offences is not listed or detailed in the warrant, or the degree in which Mr Harrison was involved.

The warrant also states Mr Harrison is a British citizen, but Mr Harrison was travelling on an Irish passport and says he is an Irish citizen.

She told the court the warrant has been ‘rushed’.

The Vietnamese people who died were found in the back of the refrigerated truck in Grays, Essex in the early hours of October 23.

Irish lorry driver challenges his extradition to the UK over 39 lorry deaths

The victims included (top row, left to right) Pham Tra My, 26, Anna Bui Thi Nhung, 19, Nguyen Huy Hung, 15, and (middle row, left to right) Nguyen Dinh Lurong, 20, Vo Ngoc Nam, 28, Hoang Van Tiep, 18, and (bottom row, left to right) Nguyen Dinh Tu, 26, Nguyen van Hung, 33, and Le Van Ha, 30

Earlier this month, police announced the group were made up of eight women, three boys and 28 men.

The eldest was 44 and the youngest was 15.

The driver of the lorry, Mo Robinson, 25, has appeared in court in Essex charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering. 

Detectives are also hunting Ronan Hughes, 40, and his brother Christopher, 34, who are said to have links with the road haulage and shipping industries, to hand themselves in. 

 

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