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(MeridioNews)Mered case, after two years the accused speaks «It's not me, never known The General »

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Monday, 02 July 2018

SICILY EDITION

Mered case, after two years the accused speaks 
«It's not me, never known The General »

Sitting on the witness stand is the young man who is accused of being one of the worst traffickers of men in recent years. An examination that will continue later and which today focused on the period spent in Sudan, up to the moment of arrest: "They tortured me for days, I had neither a lawyer nor an interpreter"

SILVIA BUFFA 2 JULY 2018

PHOTO BY: SILVIA BUFFA

"I was arrested on May 23, 2016 , I was in a dairy at that time, I drank tea. Those who came to arrest me beat me, tortured me for days . " Thus, through the interpreter, he debuted the boy under trial for two years who must respond to the trafficking of human beings. And he is accused of being, above all, The General , one of the most sought-after traffickers of the past few years, Medhanie Yehdego Mered . But he has always claimed to be the victim of a personal exchange and to call himself Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre, an Eritrean carpenter who is also waiting to reach Libya and then embark for Europe. When the Sudanese authorities break into that bar in Khartoum, with him there are another 20-30 people, all Sudanese and Eritreans. "I was taken by surprise, I did not expect it."

Tells, especially during the cross-examination, something of his life before that day. Until 2014 he lives in Asmara with his mother, Maeza Zerai Weldai . He has four sisters and three brothers. "I'm not married and I have no children," he said, urged by the defense lawyer,  Michele Calantropo . In Eritrea I worked as a carpenter and plumber, then I did the military service, but it practically never ends, so I ran away in December 2014. I was in Ethiopia for two months and then I headed to Sudan. I arrived in Khartoum on March 23rd 2015and from there I did not move until my arrest. " And at the direct request of the lawyer, he follows a firm answer, with a voice more sure of the expression that has been painted on his face for two years. " I do not know Medhanie Yehdego Mered, I've never known this name and this person , my name is Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre. They arrested me and tortured me for twenty days, I never had an interpreter or even a lawyer, they handed me over to other people and I do not know why - he says, retracing the moment of capture -. They arrested me, took me to their offices and, shortly after, to my home for the search, they told me not to come in, to stay outside the door ".

In front of the photographs of the documents seized that day shakes his head: " I do not know these names, these numbers, it is not my writing, these are not my things ". On the day of his arrest he has little change, an Eritrean identity card, one from Sudan, and a cell phone. A phone that, to hear his story, friends and roommates passed continuously: "I bought it in Sudan in a store that sells second-hand phones, it was a Samsung. The applications were already there, from Viber to Facebook, but they were in Arabic, so I changed it with my language and my data. I have never moved from Khartoum. If someone asks me to call, I'll help him, I'll give it to him. Sometimes it is a few hours, others a whole day». A circumstance that could explain the accusation of the accusation, according to which that same phone is geolocated in other cities, in spite of a defendant who repeats for two years that he has not moved after his arrival in Sudan.

Then, among the papers in the public prosecutor's possession, an interrogation report, carried out the day after the arrest, on 24 May 2016 appears . But even in this case the boy denies everything: " I have never been interrogated by the Sudanese authorities, they spoke only Arabic and I did not understand them. And among them there was no one who could speak English, so I was silent - he says -. They took me to their office, then to my house, then back to their office, then the Europeans came and took me away. And I never signed any documents. " They would not even show him what they had seized him. Crucial point of today's examination is, however, in the statements that would have made during an interrogation in November 2016, six months after his arrest. The answers reported on that occasion do not resemble those transcribed that day at all. Species on the Libya affair . In the minutes there is written that he claims to have been there, but in the courtroom it is peremptory: «I never went there,I have never moved from Sudan to arrest ". The reason is soon told, and to clarify everything is the lawyer Calantropo: " That interrogation was rewritten in the presence of the gizia Letizia Geraci, because in the previous I had detected many errors , some even serious. What the public prosecutor is reading today is not the updated version filed in the deeds ». All questions related to that interrogation will then be discussed later, while the court president has decided to rewrite the records of that day.

Opposition, finally, from the prosecution of the acquisition of the  results of the DNA test carried out by the defense  who, with a geneticist in tow , went to Sweden to submit to the Lidya Tesfu , recognized by the prosecution as the companion of the Mered trafficker, and their son. A result, that achieved with this test, which has ruled out that this child may be of the boy currently on trial and therefore supports the thesis of the exchange of person. "We have not been advised of this trip and this test, not even the judicial authority, and no letters have been requested. They could have subjected anyone, we were not present, "explains the pm Ferrara, Meanwhile, the judge will decide later what to do. 

(Software translation)




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