The trial of a rescue worker from Ireland, charged in relation to people smuggling, has gotten under way in Greece three years after he was arrested.

Seán Binder, who grew up in Co Kerry, was arrested with 23 others while volunteering for a search-and-rescue charity on the island of Lesbos, where they were helping migrants in 2018.

Today their trial on the misdemeanour charges got under way with their lawyers making a number of submissions for them to be dropped.

During a six-hour hearing a number of solicitors acting for the defendants said the accusations against them were vague, confusing and lacking evidence.

The judge adjourned the case until Friday when she will rule on whether or not the charges should be dropped.

Speaking outside the courthouse in Lesbos today Mr Binder said: "If we are the heinous criminals, the masterminds, the spies, the smugglers that the prosecution says we are then wouldn't they want us in prison already?

"And if they had a shred of evidence that we ever did anything wrong we would already be in prison. The fact that we have to wait year on year is proof to me that they are not confident we're guilty."

The trial was initially due to get underway in November 2021 but was adjourned on procedural grounds.

The more serious felony charges that Mr Binder faces will be dealt with in a later trial

If convicted Mr Binder could face a term of 25 years in jail.