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May 05, 2017

Hungarian prosecutors call for life sentences for people smugglers responsible for 71 migrant deaths in refrigerated lorry

The public prosecutor of Bács-Kiskun county said that altogether 1,200 people were transported illegally to western Europe between February 2015 and August of the same year on 31 occasions in sealed and crowded lorry compartments

Hungarian prosecutors are calling for life sentences for smugglers charged with the deaths of 71 migrants who suffocated in a refrigerated lorry found on an Austrian motorway in 2015.

According to MTI, the suspects are 11 men of Afghan, Bulgarian and Lebanese nationality. Prosecutors are seeking life sentences in the case of four suspects and fixed-term imprisonment and expulsion from Hungary in the case of seven involved in the smuggling operation. 

Migrants from Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq were among the victims found in the lorry with Hungarian number plates abandoned on the hard-shoulder of the A4 highway near Parndorf, Austria, on August 27, 2015. The Afghan leader of the smuggling ring earned at least 300,000 euros through this activity, according to the prosecution statement. The lorry which set off from Kecskemét was driven by a 25-year-old Bulgarian accompanied by a 38-year-old compatriot, it added.

The public prosecutor of Bács-Kiskun county said that altogether 1,200 people were transported illegally to western Europe between February 2015 and August of the same year on 31 occasions in sealed and crowded lorry compartments.