Irish court allows appeal against extradition for Vietnamese truck deaths

FILE PHOTO: Police are seen at the scene where bodies were discovered in a lorry container, in Grays, Essex, Britain October 23, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

DUBLIN (Reuters) - An Irish court on Wednesday granted a lorry driver leave to challenge his extradition to the UK in connection with the deaths of 39 Vietnamese people found in the back of a truck near London last year, national broadcaster RTE reported.

British authorities are seeking Eamonn Harrison, 23, on charges of human trafficking and immigration offences, as well as 39 charges of manslaughter, in a case that has shone a light on the people-smuggling trade. The discovery of the bodies in the back of a refrigerated truck highlighted how poor citizens of Asia, Africa and the Middle East pay large sums of cash to middlemen to make perilous, illicit journeys to the West. The 23-year-old is alleged to have delivered the refrigerated truck to a Belgian port before its onward journey to Britain.

The court approved Harrison's surrender to the UK authorities in January but deferred signing of the extradition order to give his defence time to consider the ruling.

Reporting by Graham Fahy; Editing by Catherine Evans

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