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(Ill Dubbio) Migrants, even the voice is not that of the trafficker of human beings

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Friday, 18 January 2019

Migrants, even the voice is not that of the trafficker of human beings

Medhanie Tesfamariam Berhe, 30-year-old Eritrean, has been in prison for 3 years accused of being Medhanie Yehdego Mered, accused of being one of the leaders of an organization that manages the smuggling of migrants to Europe

Damiano Aliprandi17 Jan 2019 17:43 CET
Not only are there evidence such as DNA tests and dozens of testimonies that would exonerate it, but now there is also the phonic expertise of the Court of Assizes of Palermo presided over by the judge Alfredo Montalto that shows how the voice of the accused does not correspond to that of the real researcher who is heard talking in wiretapping. We are talking about an Eritrean who has been in prison for three years on charges of being the ruthless human trafficker Medhanie Yehdego Mered and there is an ongoing trial. This story was discussed above all in international newspapers. In July 2017 the New Yorker published a very in-depth article that lined up the many evidence supporting the wrong defendant's version, as well as Il Guardiansigned by Lorenzo Tondo, a Sicilian journalist expert on mafia things who collaborates with several international newspapers.

On May 24, 2016 a man was arrested in Sudan who was extradited to Italy on 7 June and adjourned in court in September 2017. But the man would be Medhanie Tesfamariam Berhe, a 30-year-old Eritrean, and not Medhanie Yehdego Mered, a 36-year-old man from Eritrea, accused of being one of the heads of a large organization based in Libya that manages the smuggling of migrants to Europe, and involved in the travels of at least 13 thousand people. In June 2016, the Italian Ministry of the Interior and the National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom had announced with some emphasis the arrest in Sudan and the extradition in Italy of Medhanie Yehdego Mered. The magistrates of the Palermo prosecutor's office had intercepted Mered's cell phone for months gathering information about his account and his activities. After the arrest the British media had begun to have doubts, writing that the person arrested and now on trial was actually another: that he had never been in Libya, which had nothing to do with the alleged network for the trafficking in migrants and who had declared himself innocent. With the trafficker he simply shared a very common name.

So many are the evidence brought by his lawyer defender Michael Calantropo, not least the DNA test that showed with absolute certainty that the son of the trafficker is not the man in prison. A test, yet another, but it did not change the fate of the process.

But yesterday came the sound expertise of the Court and adds, more than a piece, a data that could be definitive and strong enough to show that the wrong person is in prison. It is the lawyer Calantropo, reached by Il Dubbio,to say that "After three DNA tests and after listening to dozens of eyewitnesses, the result of the report confirms the innocence of my client who is always declared unrelated to the facts imputed to him". In fact, the report shows that, out of nine tracks analyzed, 6 are incompatible with the defendant and 3 are inconclusive. The degree of compatibility between the vocal characteristics of two subjects was evaluated by comparing the different traces left behind. In particular, the extracted information provides support, which allowed to establish to what degree the reference and anonymous voice are of the same person or if they are two different people. The word Hello and the word Heray were used: on the first comparison of the use of the first word, in the phonic essay it is always pronounced with the "e" while in all the anonymous voices it is instead pronounced with the "a" resulting in "halo". Differences were also found in the pronunciation of the word "heray": in the anonymous voices it is always much more aspirated and with a more open "a" while in the phonic essay, the word is pronounced much shorter and less aspirated. The report indicates that the considerations are made without knowing if the anonymous voice knows more dialects; this in clear coherence with the fact that the use of language and vowels with transformation of "a" into "and" changes according to the dialect being spoken. Based on the available information, the report considers that "acoustic comparisons produce moderate support for incompatibility" in the six tracks. Otherwise,



(Software translation) 


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