Bulgarian sentenced to jail in case of 71 migrants dying in truck

by Reuters
Wednesday, 27 February 2019 18:52 GMT

ARCHIVE PHOTO: Forensic police officers inspect a parked truck in which up to 50 migrants were found dead, on a motorway near Parndorf, Austria August 27, 2015. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader/File photo

Image Caption and Rights Information
The migrants, including eight women and four children, suffocated in a lorry and were found dead beside an Austrian motorway

BUDAPEST, Feb 27 (Reuters) - A Bulgarian man was sentenced on Wednesday to 4 years and 8 months in prison by a Hungarian court for human trafficking in connection with the death of 71 migrants in a truck in August 2015, the Hungarian state news agency MTI said.

The migrants, including eight women and four children, suffocated in the lorry and were found dead beside an Austrian motorway near Parndorf.

While 39-year-old Bulgarian, who was not identified, as is usual in Hungarian court cases, was not directly involved in the Parndorf case, he was convicted of recruiting two of the main defendants as people-smugglers.

He took part in organised human trafficking and he roped in at least six smugglers, MTI said.

The ruling is final as neither the prosecutors or the defendant appealed against it.

Last year the same court sentenced three Bulgarians and an Afghan to 25 years in jail in the same case, but those rulings are not final, pending any appeal.

The migrants who died were among the hundreds of thousands of people from war-torn and poor regions in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, who headed through the Balkans and Hungary towards Western Europe in 2015.

(Reporting by Sandor Peto; Editing by Alison Williams)

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