(PALERMO, Italy.) Court Report: Investigation by Italian & British Investigators ends with Eritrean man extradited from Sudan in 2016 was not a human-trafficking kingpin, as claimed by prosecutors, but claimed he was an impoverished refugee and the judge ruled he served 3yrs for mistaken identity and released him #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – July.12: An Italian court on Friday said an Eritrean man extradited from Sudan in 2016 was not a human-trafficking kingpin, as claimed by prosecutors, but nonetheless had abetted people smuggling and handed him a 5-year prison term Reuters reported.

Eritrean, Accused of Trafficking Migrants, Is Captured in Sudan: Extradited to Italy, Medhanie Yehdego Mered is suspected of helping to lead a ring linked the deaths of 359 people off Italy in 2013: https://static01.nyt.com/images/2016/06/09/world/09Migrants-web/09Migrants-web-mediumThreeByTwo440.jpg: Read more on The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/09/world/europe/migrants-smuggling-eritrean-captured.html?

The ruling represents a setback to both Italian and British investigators who worked together to secure the arrest of the man, identified in court as Medhanie Yehdego Mered, in the Sudanese capital Khartoum: Both countries hailed his capture at the time as a rare victory in their battle against human trafficking: But the seized man always insisted he was an impoverished refugee called Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre with no criminal background.

Italian prosecutors had rejected this and had demanded a 14-year prison sentence against the man they said was nicknamed “the General”, a notorious Eritrean smuggler who had made a fortune funneling migrants into Europe via lawless Libya: The court ruled that the defendant was indeed the victim of mistaken identity, but had nevertheless aided human smuggling: Given he has already spent three years in jail, the judge ordered his release.

#AceNewsDesk report ………………Reuters.Com/ Published: July.12: Reporting by Wladimiro Pantaleone; Writing by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Philip Pullella

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