A suspected illegal immigrant who is accused of walking almost the entire length of the Channel Tunnel before he was arrested in the UK has pleaded not guilty at Canterbury Crown Court. Sudanese migrant Abdul Rahman Haroun, 40, is alleged to be the first person to walk the length of the 31-mile Channel Tunnel in Calais and he was apprehended by Kent police at the exit in Folkestone, Kent, on 4 August.
He was charged with causing an obstruction to an engine or carriage using the railway under the Malicious Damage Act 1861. Haroun, who is alleged to have dodged trains travelling at up to 160kph, appeared in court on 24 August to face the obstruction charge.
At the hearing, Haroun's lawyer Nicholas Jones rejected the charge of obstruction and claimed his client could not be convicted because it would fall under the protection of the Article 31 of a 1951 UN convention relating to the Status of Refugees, of which the UK is a signatory.
After Haroun's crossing, a Eurotunnel spokesman warned such a move was not only "illegal" but also "dangerous" and that Haroun should expect his asylum application to be rejected. He was remanded in custody and the trial will resume on 4 January 2016.