Essex lorry deaths: Wanted man Eamonn Harrison granted permission to appeal extradition to UK | A man wanted in connection with the discovery of 39 bodies in a shipping container in Essex has been granted permission to appeal against his extradit

Essex lorry deaths: Wanted man Eamonn Harrison granted permission to appeal extradition to UK

Essex lorry deaths: Wanted man Eamonn Harrison granted permission to appeal extradition to UK

Essex lorry deaths: Wanted man Eamonn Harrison granted permission to appeal extradition to UK

Essex lorry deaths: Wanted man Eamonn Harrison granted permission to appeal extradition to UK

Essex lorry deaths: Wanted man Eamonn Harrison granted permission to appeal extradition to UK

Essex lorry deaths: Wanted man Eamonn Harrison granted permission to appeal extradition to UK
Essex lorry deaths: Wanted man Eamonn Harrison granted permission to appeal extradition to UK
  • By: standard.co.uk
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A man wanted in connection with the discovery of 39 bodies in a shipping container in Essex has been granted permission to appeal against his extradition to the UK. 

Eamonn Harrison, 23, from Northern Ireland, was granted permission by a High Court judge in Dublin on Wednesday.

He is alleged to have driven the container, which held 39 Vietnamese nationals, to a port in Zeebrugge in Belgium in October last year.

Ten teenagers, including two 15-year-old boys, were among eight women and 31 men whose bodies were discovered in the trailer in an industrial park in Grays.

Today's court hearing comes as a team of detectives from Essex Police visit Vietnam to meet the victims' families. 

Mr 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.

In November, Dublin Central Criminal Court heard that Mr Harrison was identified as the driver of the lorry carrying the container via CCTV in Belgium.

Mr Harrison signed the shipping notice for the container, which was later found in Essex with the bodies of the victims, all Vietnamese nationals inside, the court heard

On January 24, a Dublin judge ruled that the 23-year-old could be extradited to the UK to face trial after receiving comprehensive arguments from both sides.

However, Mr Harrison’s defence team claimed there were “manifest errors” in the European Arrest Warrant against their client.

They said that when additional information was sought from the UK authorities, the information was provided by the Crown Prosecution Service instead of an judicial authority.

Mr Justice Donald Binchy accepted their arguments ​and said there was a need to explore the points raised in a higher court.

He formally made an order granting extradition to the UK, but placed a stay on the execution of that order pending the outcome of the Court of Appeal proceedings.​

Meanwhile, Essex Police said a team of 12 officers and staff will be in Vietnam until the end of the month meeting relatives as they look into the alleged human trafficking plot.

Staff from the National Crime Agency and officers from Vietnam’s ministry of public security are assisting with the investigation.

On Tuesday it was revealed the provisional cause of death for those in the lorry was a combination of suffocation and overheating in an enclosed space, Essex Police said.

Lorry driver Maurice Robinson has previously admitted conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and acquiring criminal property – namely cash.

The 25-year-old, of Laurel Drive in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, has yet to enter pleas to 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to commit human trafficking and transferring criminal property.

Co-defendant Christopher Kennedy, 23, from Darkley, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, has denied being involved in the alleged human trafficking plot and denied conspiring to assist unlawful immigration.

A further hearing will take place on March 16 at the Old Bailey, with a provisional trial set for October 5.

A 22-year-old man was arrested in Northern Ireland on Sunday on suspicion of manslaughter and facilitating unlawful immigration. He is currently in custody in Essex, the force said.

Gheorghe Nica, 43, of Basildon, was arrested at Frankfurt Airport on January 29 under a European Arrest Warrant and will appear at the Old Bailey on March 16, Essex Police said.

He faces 39 counts of manslaughter and one count of conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration.

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