The Essex Truck Death Trial hears the elusive and sinister suspect…

An “elusive and sinister” suspect of the deaths of 39 migrants is still at large, according to the jury.

The Vietnamese migrants suffocated as they were transported in a sealed container from Zeebrugge, Belgium to Purfleet, Essex on the night of October 22nd to 23rd last year. The alleged “key player” Gheorghe Nica (43) and the truck driver Eamonn Harrison (23) have denied their homicides. On Monday, attorneys set out their defense cases before the trial was shut down amid concerns of Covid-19 when the first witness fell sick while testifying.

Judge Sweeney adjourned the trial of Old Bailey until Wednesday, telling the jury that the witness had a Covid test to be “extra safe”. Prosecutors have alleged Nica, from Basildon, Essex, organized a team of drivers to collect the migrants in Essex.

(Bild: Elizabeth Cook / PA Wire)

(Image: Reuters)

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Nica has admitted planning to smuggle people, but denies participating in the tragic run. His attorney, Aftab Jafferjee QC, said prosecutors alleged that “greedy exploitation” resulted in “appalling horrific loss of 39 people”.

If so, jurors should consider who knew so many people were being transported that night, he said. Mr. Jafferjee pointed out that the same number of vehicles, one van and two limousines were used on October 23rd as on previous occasions.

He also questioned the roles of transportation chief Ronan Hughes and two prominent suspects, including the “presence of the elusive and, as we say, sinister Marius Draghici”. The attorney asked the jury to check whether Nica was more of a “gofer” for Hughes. He said, “One of the questions is whether Nica was an organizer as the prosecution is suggesting, or an occasional participant if necessary.

“To determine the problem, you need to consider the reason he was in the country to organize things in the first place, or simply whether he was waiting for the interior ministry’s passports to arrive for him and his family.” Mr. Jafferjee suggested that Nica had a “peripatetic lifestyle” that lived “sofa to sofa” and worked in various truck yards and garages.

He also claimed that the farm used as a pick-up point was involved in a “series of lucrative illegal activities”.

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He said to the jurors: “You understand immediately why this is important, because the question is whether my client will be on the 22nd/23. Was involved in the migrant smuggling or something else. ” Old Bailey heard that Harrison of Mayobridge, Co Down, Northern Ireland dropped the trailer with human cargo in Zeebrugge on October 22, but denied they were there.

His attorney, Alistair Williamson QC, told the judges, “Much of the Crown’s case has been settled. The question is how is this evidence properly interpreted? “The two subjects that you should focus on in the case of the Crown are one: What does Harrison know about his cargo so that you are safe?

“And secondly: who was with him in the cabin of his vehicle on different dates in October and what role did this person play?” Harrison and co-defendants Christopher Kennedy, 24, from Co Armagh, Northern Ireland and Valentin Calota, 37, from Birmingham deny being part of the people-smuggling conspiracy. The court previously heard that four other defendants had already admitted their part in the conspiracy.

Truck driver Maurice Robinson, 26, from Craigavon, Northern Ireland, who found the 39 migrants dead in the container after picking them up in Purfleet, and Hughes, 41, from Co Armagh, Northern Ireland, have admitted manslaughter. These were the details of the news The Essex Truck Death Trial hears the elusive and sinister suspect… for this day. We hope that we have succeeded by giving you the full details and information.

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