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Migrant shipwreck accused appear in court

Friday, April 24, 2015 - 01:20

A man believed to be the captain of a shipwreck that killed hundreds of migrants appears in a Sicily court with a fellow crew member. Nathan Frandino reports.

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Prosecutors want Tunisian Mohammed Ali Malek and Syrian Mahmud Bikhit to be charged with multiple homicide and people trafficking offenses. Malek is said to be have been the captain of the boat which sank off Libya last Sunday. Bikhit has been identitifed as a crew member. Both appeared in court to face charges. The two are accused of being responsibile for the deaths of up to 900 African and Bangladeshi migrants believed to have died when the boat capsized in the Mediterranean. The disaster has sparked outrage across Europe and prompted EU leaders to triple naval search missions - called Operation Triton - on the Mediterranean. Save the Children spokesperson Gemma Parkin says more needs to be done. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SAVE THE CHILDREN SPOKESPERSON, GEMMA PARKIN, SAYING: "It's a case of one step forward and two steps back. Obviously the increase of budget, the tripling of Triton's budget and the national offers of the search and rescue capacity are breakthroughs, really critical breakthroughs but without the clarity about Triton's operational area then lives will continue to be risked at sea. So, they need to immediately agree at a European level what that operational area is and make sure this momentum is changed into saving lives." Meanwhile, more migrants continue to arrive. Italian officials believe the number of migrants crossing the sea could reach 200,000 this year.

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Migrant shipwreck accused appear in court

Friday, April 24, 2015 - 01:20