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(MeridioNews - Edizione Palermo) DNA Test on Medhanie Yehdego Mered’s son bolsters view that Medhanie Tesfamariam Berhe is wrongly detained

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Saturday, 12 May 2018

Mered case, DNA test confirms exchange of person 
"The son of the trafficker is not a man in prison"


CHRONICLE - The results are clear: there are too many incompatibilities between the genetic profile of the little Rae, for the General's proxy, and that of the young person on trial. The geneticist: "For us it is a definitive and strong enough. I have no doubts about the identity of the person detained and currently on trial "

We have shown with absolute certainty that the child is not a man in prison, genetics and DNA do not lie ". The child is called Rae Yehdego Mered and is only three years old. For the Palermo prosecutor it would be the son of the human trafficker Medhanie Yehdego Mered and Lidya Tesfu , even if it was only the woman who recognized it. And it is from this element, given as certainly by the magistrates of Palermo, that the lawyer Michele Calantropo , who defends the man currently on trial with the accusation of being the General but who has always said to be the victim of a resounding exchange of person, he left for Swedento meet her. Together with him there was also the geneticist Gregorio Seidita , a professor at the University of Palermo, who has already collaborated on the case by comparing the DNA of the boy who has been  held at Pagliarelli for almost two years with that of his mother , to show the kinship and therefore also identity . What, during the whole process, has been and continues to be questioned by the defense, never by the prosecution, convinced that it has captured the real trafficker.

Demonstrating the kinship of mother and child, and hence also the identity of the detainee, was not enough for the prosecutor, who hypothesized that the trafficker may have often hidden behind aliases . A test so that in fact, so far, combined with the other evidence put together by the defense - the phonic expertise that compares the intercepted voice of the trafficker and that of the boy in prison, the numerous testimonies collected in two years - did not change the fate of the process. Here then we try a further road. That of starting from a certain fact of the power of attorney, that is the son attributed to Mered, and comparing the child's DNA with that of the young man to Pagliarelli. The mother, contacted via Facebook, saidavailable to undergo a biological withdrawal to prove the paternity of the trafficker with respect to this child.

"As soon as Lidya Tesfu has consented, we have reached it - says Professor Seidita to MeridioNews . I had to be the first person to do the withdrawal, it is rather delicate things and I had to be sure. We left for the Swedish town of Eskilstuna , where we met Lidya Tesfu with the child and an interpreter who conveyed the message as correctly as possible and there she was quite willing. A very young girl, she knew the story and her intent was to help this poor wretch in prison for almost two years. " After signing the written consent form written in Tigrinya, she underwent saliva with her son: "A tampon for her, because being the mother helped us to recognize the component of sure maternal derivation; and the other for the child, who at the beginning was not too convinced and did some whim, to go back to the component of sure paternal derivation ».

The results were then compared with the data already available to the detained boy: "A lot of incompatibility has emerged - explains Professor Seidita -. There are no doubts of attribution, that child is not the son of a man in prison ". All the analyzes were carried out in the Department of Biopathology and Medical and Forensic Biotechnology of Palermo, to make her arrive in Italy would have been more complex. "In order to do all this, we got permission from the court, it was basically a defense investigation, all in the light of the sun. With these results in hand we will present ourselves in court at the next hearing and we will see if the court decides to accept them or not ». At this point, after the work done by the boy's defense, there are two certain points that add to the story based on the genetic tests carried out so far: «That Behre is the son of his mother, Maeza Zerai Weldai, arrived in Palermo from Eritrea last October to undergo the DNA test, and that the son attributed to the trafficker Mered is not a man in jail. I repeat, genetics and DNA do not lie, there are no doubts ».

A datum, the latter, which can be replicated at any time: "If the power of attorney made a request to that effect, we would not oppose to redo the analysis - explains the expert -. Behre is detained and always available, secondly the lady, as she underwent with us signing informed consent, can re-offer her own genetic contribution. The data were presented in a form that any technician can read and interpret them independently. For us it is a definitive and quite strong figure . I feel indebted, as an Italian and a European citizen, towards a guy who is paying a very high price and that I now find increasingly emotionally distorted. I have no doubts about the identity of the detained person and currently on trial . "

More cautious, despite the important result achieved with the test, the lawyer Calantropo, who now expects a countermove from the prosecution: "I expect everything, there have been some surprises every time we have presented equally important results in the past", comments . Admitting that in any case the availability shown by Lidya Tesfu was precious: "You do not realize anything, you are very young, I do not think she is aware of the importance of what is happening under her nose ".

(Software translation) 

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