All three Afghan nationals arrested for the rape and murder of a 13-year-old Austrian school girl in Vienna in June of last year have been convicted by an Austrian court.
The brutal facts of the case received national condemnation across the country when the bruised body of the victim known as Leonie was discovered by passers-by leaning against a tree next to Viktor-Kaplan-Strasse in the Austrian capital. She was found strangled with her body dumped in a green strip close to the apartment of one of the attackers in Vienna-Donaustadt.
The Vienna court found the Afghan migrants had plied the victim with ecstasy with the intention of raping her; an autopsy report concluded she died of a drug overdose and asphyxiation.
On Friday, the main 24-year-old defendant was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, while two other accomplices, aged 20 and 19, were found guilty of murder by omission for failing to call for help after Leonie had suffered a drug overdose. The two accomplices received 19-year and 20-year custodial sentences for their involvement.
The Austrian public were outraged when foreign media reported at the time of the arrests how one of the migrants, who had arrived in Austria back in 2015 and had committed previous offenses — including drug trafficking and brawling — was still residing in the country after his asylum application had been rejected and a deportation notice had been issued.
Some reports even indicated that the now-convicted murderer had continued to receive social assistance from the state up to the day of the attack despite having his asylum application turned down.
Then-Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said, on the wider issue of crimes being committed by migrants, he found it “intolerable for people who come to us, say they are seeking protection, and then commit cruel, barbaric crimes in Austria.
“Politically, this means for me that we will stick to our consistent line,” Kurz said at the time.
“With me, there will definitely never be a halt to deportations to Afghanistan for asylum seekers who commit crimes,” he added.