A 33-year-old Iraqi was confronted on Friday in a trial at the Salzburg Regional Court with allegations of smuggling as part of a criminal organization. He is said to have smuggled at least three refugees from Austria to Germany on eleven trips in autumn 2019, provided other drivers and made his car available. The defendant admitted “five or six” trips from Linz to Passau, for which he had received 3,000 euros.
The public prosecutor’s office narrowed the offense period to October 20, 2019, to November 26, 2019. Pay between 400 and 600 euros per person for the tug trips over the refugees. The defendant was arrested in Germany on December 5, 2019. There he had already been sentenced to imprisonment in 2018 for smuggling several people and in 2020 for the same offense, but only in one case. He has been in custody in Austria since June.
Part of the accused confesses
The defense attorney for the partially confessed 33-year-old also said that his client “never” acted as a client or organizer of tug trips. The charge is based on statements from accused accomplices in their criminal proceedings, who incriminated the Iraqi.
The chairman of the lay judge, Judge Philipp Grosser, elected why he took on tractor trips again because he had already condemned war in Germany. “I was naive because I thought the route was short and that is not so punished in Austria,” replied the accused. It was clear to him, however, that the people being dragged were staying illegally in the country.
Between October 15 and 20, 2019, a friend came to see him in the hairdresser’s shop and told him they were bringing people from Graz, the defendant said. Two women and a man could also stay with him one day, then he took them to Passau in his car. “I drove from Linz to Passau five or six times,” he admitted. He has often borrowed his BMW acquaintance, and he cannot say one hundred percent what they have done with the car.
Come to Austria in 2015
The defendant came to Austria with the wave of refugees in 2015 and he owns his own account on September 1st at the main train station in Vienna. He is a sports teacher and the son of a mayor of a large city in Iraq. After his father died in 2013 and the “security situation” in Iraq was not stable, he went to Europe with a friend. In order to achieve his goal, he paid 15,000 euros to smugglers, says the accused. He attended German courses in Austria, where he has so far been innocent, and most recently worked as a hairdresser in Upper Austria.
A verdict is expected today (Friday).