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Trafficking kingpin or mistaken identity? Verdict expected in Eritrean man’s trial

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By Louise Miner  & Giorgia Orlandi  with AFP
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Trafficking kingpin or mistaken identity? Verdict expected in Eritrean man’s trial

An Eritrean man accused of being a people smuggler will be hearing his verdict on Friday in a case of possible mistaken identity.

He was arrested and extradited from Sudan in 2016 after he was suspected of being a notorious kingpin in the human trafficking world.

The arrest was part of an undercover operation with Italian authorities and help from the British Foreign Office and UK's national crime agency, to disrupt a network, which used to operate between Italy and Africa.

Italian officials announced they had arrested Medhanie Yehdego Mered – a world-renowned people trafficker.

But the actual man in custody has been named by friends and relatives as Mered Tesfamariam Berhe.

He could face up to 15 years in jail but prosecutors have been unable to provide any witnesses to testify against him.

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