Trinity graduate in Greece loses appeal on human trafficking charges

The former PPES student is being held in a Greek jail

Trinity graduate Sean Binder has lost his appeal against being detained. Binder, who has been held in Greece for the last month, is now in a jail on the island of Chios.

The former student was arrested in Lesbos in February on suspicion of human trafficking, money laundering, espionage, and being a member of a criminal organisation after volunteering with a non-governmental organisation which works with migrants.

Binder’s legal team is currently preparing a second appeal following the first appeal of his detention being denied. The team expects the second appeal to take place in four weeks.

Binder’s mother, Fanny Binder, says their “main concern is that this appeal won’t get through and he will be detained for 18 months without charge”.

“What we are pushing for is a quick trial as soon as possible so that this can be over. Justice will prevail,” she continued.

Previously, Fanny Binder was permitted to visit her son daily, but visits are to be limited to three times a week following the loss of his appeal. She travelled to Greece last month when Binder was first detained after he presented himself to police following the issue of arrest warrant.

The political science, economics, sociology and philosophy (PPES) graduate volunteered with Emergency Response Centre International (ERCI). Fanny Binder outlined that he had “been working for an NGO last autumn… they mostly work in migrant camps, volunteering, giving medical help and education to children, washing blankets and everything that needs to be done in a camp”.

30 other individuals from the same organisation are also under investigation on the grounds of smuggling, espionage, and money laundering. Binder was arrested alongside colleague Sarah Mardini, a Syrian refugee whose sister, Yusra, competed in the 2016 Olympics. If Binder is charged, he faces 20 years in a Greek prison.

The Department of Foreign Affairs stated they could not give Binder assistance as he is not an Irish citizen. Binder was born in Germany and moved to Castlegregory, Kerry, when he was five years old. His family currently resides in Togher, Cork, where he was due to return home to in October.

Lauren Boland

Lauren Boland

Lauren Boland is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News. She is a Senior Sophister English Literature and Sociology student, and a former News Editor and Assistant News Editor.