Judge in Sicily Nixes Bid to Free Alleged Migrant Trafficker

A lawyer for an Eritrean man extradited to Italy from Sudan last week as an alleged migrant trafficker says a judge in Palermo, Sicily, has rejected a bid for the suspect’s release from jail.

Michele Calantropo says he doesn’t know on what basis the judge on Tuesday ordered the suspect to stay jailed because he hasn’t yet read the written ruling. Several in the Eritrean community abroad insist the man was arrested in Sudan in a case of mistaken identity. Calantropo says his client has repeatedly denied he is a trafficker and insists he’s not the man named in the warrant.

After the doubts surfaced, Palermo prosecutors said they were checking the identity issue.

Italian news agency ANSA, without giving details, says the judge cited “circumstantial evidence” in rejecting release.

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