Fugitive held for death of 15 migrants in Italy

Rome, July 3 (IANS/AKI) A human trafficker who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for causing 15 migrants to drown in Italy has finally been arrested after he was on the run for more than 10 years.

Border police in southern Italy’s Bari city Tuesday arrested 32-year-old Mustafa Hergis as he disembarked from a vessel from Greece.

A court in Bari had sentenced Hergis in November 2011 to 12 years and six months in jail over an incident in May 2000 when a motorised rubber dinghy laden with illegal migrants rammed into a coastguard vessel off the coast of Puglia, causing 15 Albanian migrants to drown.

Hergis was one of five human traffickers piloting the dinghy, which ignored a request from the coastguard to stop.

Hergis was arrested after the incident, but went on the run after he was released from detention three days later. He was handed a five-year expulsion order from Italy pending trial.

As part of his sentence, Hergis must also pay a 526,786 euro fine.

–IANS/AKI

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