Smugglers sentenced to life for the death of migrants near Parndorf

The dead bodies were discovered in a van on August 2015.

The car belonged to Hyza in the past, now carried Hungarian plates.The car belonged to Hyza in the past, now carried Hungarian plates. (Source: TASR)

The appellate court in Szeged, south Hungary, sentenced the smugglers responsible for the deaths of 71 migrants to life in prison, the MTI newswire reported.

Their dead bodies were discovered in a van bearing the brand of a Slovak company, which was left near Parndorf, Austria, in August 2015.

Prosecutor wanted stricter sentence

The court found one Afghan and four Bulgarians guilty for their involvement in cruel multiple murders whose victims were also minors. Only one of them can ask for conditional release after serving 30 years in prison.

Read also:Verdicts passed in the case of 71 migrants found dead in a truck Read more 

Another 10 people accused in the case were sentenced to four to 12 years in prison for participating in organised smuggling, the TASR newswire wrote.

The original verdict was issued already in June 2018, sentencing the four main suspects to 25 years in prison, without possibility of parole. The other people charged in the case were sentenced to three to 12 years in prison. However, the prosecutor’s office in Szeged was asking for stricter punishments.

Death in a closed car

The smugglers left the van bearing the brand of a Slovak company on the Austrian highway, near the village of Parndorf. There were 59 men, eight women and four children locked in the cargo space. It is assumed that they were already dead while travelling through Hungary, TASR reported.

The truck was originally from Slovakia, although it changed owners repeatedly. It was sold from Slovakia by the Hyza poultry-processing company to the Hungarian company MasterMobilKer. The latter failed to remove the images from the vehicle, which caused the vehicle (and also the perpetrators) to be considered as Slovak.

The proceedings started in June 2017, originally expected to conclude by the end of the same year.

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