A SECOND driver charged with manslaughter over the deaths of 39 migrants in an Essex truck appeared in court today.
Eamon Harrison, 22, of Mayobridge, County Down, appeared before the High Court in Dublin on a European arrest warrant to extradite him to the UK.
He faces extradition after allegedly delivering the trailer in which the migrants were found in the Belgian port of Zeebrugge before his trip to Britain.
The 39 migrants who died were from Vietnam and their bodies were found in an industrial estate in Grays last month.
Harrison will return to court in Dublin on November 21.
No bail application has been filed, with objections to the arrest warrant due to go to court by Friday.
The warrant lists 41 offenses, including 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to commit human trafficking and conspiracy to aid illegal immigration.
Cops have revealed that they spoke on the phone to one of the two fugitive brothers wanted for the manslaughter of the 39 migrants.
Ronan Hughes, 40, who along with his brother Christopher, 34, is being chased by police, reportedly called Essex Police after Maurice ‘Mo’ Robinson, 26, who was driving the truck when the bodies were found , has been arrested.
A Northern Ireland Police Service (PSNI) detective later called Hughes and had a conversation with him, it seems.
ACCUSATIONS OF HUMAN TRIBUTE
A truck believed to belong to the Hughes brothers was seized in Northern Ireland, but they were not there.
Detectives urged the fugitive brothers to surrender after the bodies of eight women and 31 men were found in a truck trailer.
Police said officers seized a truck linked to the Hughes brothers in Lisburn, near Belfast, and asked the public for information on their whereabouts.
DCI Stoten said: âRonan and Christopher Hughes are known to have ties in Northern Ireland and Ireland as well as in the road transport and shipping industries.
“We urge anyone who has been in contact with them or has information about their whereabouts to contact us.”
A source told the Irish Mirror: “Ronan Hughes called police in the UK from a cell phone shortly after 2 a.m. last Wednesday.
âHe said he needed to talk to someone about Mo Robinson and claimed that Robinson was legit and had nothing to do with anything illegal and knew nothing about the cargo.
Hughes confirmed that he knew Robinson and insisted on getting a number of questions answered. He gave his [own] date of birth and an address.
“We think he was trying to establish how much and what information the police had at the time.”
Three other people arrested in connection with the incident – two men aged 38 and 46 and a woman, 38 – have been released on bail.
The Hughes brothers are said to run a transport company on Northern Ireland’s border with the Republic.
Ronan Hughes reportedly leased the refrigerated container from another Irish company, Dublin-based Global Trailer Rentals (GTR).
There is no suggestion that the brothers knew about the plot to smuggle migrants using the taxi or the container.
Robinson appeared in court for manslaughter and trafficking conspiracy.
The future dad is accused of being part of a global network of smugglers.
This article was based on announcements made publicly by Essex Police in October and November 2019. Christopher Hughes has since denied any involvement in the deaths and Essex Police have subsequently confirmed that no further action will be taken against him.