LONDON (AP) — An Irish judge ruled Friday that a truck driver wanted over the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants found in a refrigerated container near London can be extradited from Ireland to the U.K.
At Dublin’s High Court, Judge Donald Binchy said 23-year-old Eamonn Harrison should be sent to Britain to face charges of manslaughter and conspiracy to traffic people.
The bodies of 39 people were found Oct. 23 in the English town of Grays, east of London. Police say the victims were all from Vietnam and were aged between 15 and 44. The 31 men and eight women are believed to have paid people traffickers for their clandestine transit into England.
Harrison and another Northern Ireland man, Maurice Robinson, have been charged with manslaughter. Prosecutors allege that Harrison drove the container to the port of Zeebrugge in Belgium, where it was put on a ferry to England and picked up at the other end by Robinson.
Harrison’s lawyers had argued that Britain should not be able to seek his extradition because the alleged offenses took place in Belgium.
Binchy said he would defer ordering the extradition until Feb 4. Harrison’s lawyers said they would read the full judgment before deciding whether to appeal.