A Nigerian senator and his wife who allegedly brought a young man into Britain so they could harvest one of his kidneys for their daughter will face trial at the Old Bailey in London.
But on Thursday Westminster Magistrates Court was told the individual in question was 21, not 15. It is thought biodata has been supplied by the Nigerian authorities to clarify his age.
Ekweremadu is charged with conspiracy to arrange or facilitate travel of another person with a view of exploitation and his wife is charged with arranging or facilitating travel of another person with a view of exploitation.
The couple were not asked to enter pleas on Thursday but the court heard they have indicated they will deny the charges and say there was no criminal conspiracy involved.
Couple Accused of Treating Organ Donor as a SlaveIt is further claimed the couple treated him as a slave and that he escaped and reported them at a police station in Staines, not far from Heathrow Airport.
The couple was arrested at Heathrow on June 21 after arriving on a flight from Turkey.
On Thursday deputy chief magistrate Tan Ikram remanded the pair in custody and said they would appear next on Aug. 4 at the Old Bailey for a plea and trial preparation hearing.
He has been a senator since 2003 and is a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He was recently made a visiting professor at the University of Lincoln.
The charges were made under modern slavery legislation which was introduced only last month.
Lawmakers in the UK also recently passed legislation aimed at stopping British people from participating—as organ recipients—in forced organ harvesting.
The amendment was pushed by backbenchers who made it clear it was primarily aimed at organ harvesting under the communist regime in China.