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A Nigerian politician and his wife, who are accused of plotting to harvest a man’s kidney, face trial at the Old Bailey.
Ike Ekweremadu, 60, a district senator and lawyer, and his wife Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55, are alleged to have transported the 21-year-old man from Nigeria to the UK.
Prosecutors claim they planned to have his kidney removed so it could be given to their daughter.
The Ekweremadus allegedly treated him as a slave before he escaped and went to Staines police station in Surrey.
The couple were arrested at Heathrow Airport on June 21 after arriving on a flight from Turkey and appeared in the dock at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
Ike Ekweremadu is charged with conspiracy to arrange or facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, while his wife is charged with arranging or facilitating travel of another person with a view to exploitation.
The couple were not asked to enter pleas, but the court heard they have indicated not guilty pleas.
They deny the alleged facts and that there was a criminal conspiracy, and will say no exploitation occurred, it was said.
Deputy chief magistrate Tan Ikram remanded them in custody ahead of their next appearance at the Old Bailey, for a plea and trial preparation hearing, on August 4.