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Suspect in au pair death refuses extradition

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American Lauren Mann. Photo: Facebook/Private
13:16 CET+01:00
An asylum seeker suspected of killing an American au pair who gave him sanctuary when Austrian officials wanted to deport him has refused to be extradited to face trial.

American Lauren Mann, 25, was discovered half naked in her apartment, lying face down on a mattress. Firefighters went to her apartment after her employers became alarmed when she did not show up for work.

A later autopsy revealed that she had died from suffocation, and police found that she had been giving shelter to a 24-year-old Gambian illegal immigrant whose asylum application had been rejected by Austria, and who was due to be deported. He was named by prosecutors in Austria only as Abdou I., because of local privacy laws.

After her death, the man vanished but he was then caught in Bern in Switzerland in an asylum centre by police who had tracked his mobile phone.

However, hopes that it would be a speedy end to the case for the young woman's family have been scotched by the fact that the man is refusing to be sent back to Austria, and lawyers are helping him fight the demand.

Her family had been keen for the case to be settled after angrily denying allegations that her death was the result of a sex game gone wrong.

Austrian prosecutors say that they have now filed an official extradition request, but it could take months before it is finally approved.

Nina Bussek, spokeswoman for the Austrian State Prosecutor, said: "The arrest is supported by concrete evidence, but I cannot say what this evidence consists of, since it is part of an ongoing investigation and cannot be made public".

Austrian officials have declined to comment on allegations that the Gambian man was also wanted over a sex assault on an underage girl in Germany

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Swiss Justice Ministry spokesman Raphael Frei said: "The arrested man was interviewed the same day. He declined to comment on the case, but made it clear that he did not want to be sent back to Austria and will fight the attempt".

Story courtesy of Central European News.

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