Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre

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Reuters

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Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre reacting to the decision in Palermo

An Italian courtroom has dominated that an Eritrean man extradited to the nation for individuals smuggling was the sufferer of mistaken id.

Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre was mistaken for the alleged trafficking kingpin Mered Medhanie – often called The Common.

He has spent the previous three years in jail insisting he was not who prosecutors stated he was.

On Friday the courtroom admitted its error, though it gave Behre a five-year sentence for aiding individuals smuggling.

He was nonetheless allowed to stroll free due to the time he had already spent behind bars.

“After three years lastly the decide confirmed what we’ve been saying: we had a farmer in jail and a smuggler at giant,” Behre’s lawyer Michele Calantropo told the Guardian.

Mr Calantropo stated his shopper would attraction towards his conviction for individuals smuggling. He added Behre – a dairy farm employee and occasional carpenter, based on his household – had utilized for asylum in Italy.

British and Italian investigators had labored collectively to seize Behre, insisting he was on the coronary heart of efforts to smuggle migrants from Africa to Europe.

An announcement from the UK’s Nationwide Crime Company after his arrest in 2016 stated it was “assured in its intelligence gathering course of”.

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NCA/Polizia di Stato

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Left: A picture of the person believed to be Mered Medhanie beforehand launched by the UK Nationwide Crime Company; Proper: Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre, who was extradited to Italy

However victims and family members of the alleged trafficking prison Mered Medhanie had instructed the courtroom they didn’t recognise the arrested man.

Prosecutors insisted they have been right regardless of DNA proof and variations of their look.

“It was a nightmare. An actual nightmare,” Berhe’s sister Hiwett Tesfamariam instructed the Guardian.

Mered Medhanie first got here to public consideration after being linked to the deaths of 359 migrants in October 2013 after their boat sank close to the Italian island of Lampedusa.

The Common is claimed to have styled himself on late Libyan chief Col Muammar Gaddafi.