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CRIME

Teenager’s body found in Hungary

The body of an Austrian teenager, believed to have been shot last week by a friend who then enlisted the help of his grandfather in getting rid of the corpse, has been found in Hungary.

Teenager's body found in Hungary
The body was found in Szentgotthard-Rabafüzes. Photo: APA/Scheriau

The public prosecutor's office in Graz said that the body was found wrapped in a plastic bag, buried near the Austrian border in Szentgotthard-Rabafüzes.

An autopsy will be carried out on Wednesday to confirm that it is the missing 16-year-old Marcel S from Carinthia.

Meanwhile more details are starting to emerge about the 16-year-old boy, Sebastian S, who was arrested after Marcel’s murder in a middle-class area of Graz.

His mother, Gabi S, has spoken to the Heute newspaper and said that a few hours after the shooting her son and her father turned up in Bad Vöslau (Lower Austria), where she was having a spa holiday. “My boy stood before me, howling and trembling all over,” she said.

She said that he confessed to the crime – and told her that he had shot his friend Marcel after he tried to force him, at gunpoint, to rape a 14-year-old girl whom they had invited over.

“This is a huge nightmare for me,” Gabi said. “I think my son was drugged – he is not a murderer.”

However, parents who sent their children to a Kindergarten which Gabi ran in Graz say that official complaints were made about Sebastian’s behaviour when he was younger.

Sebastian and his grandfather are both in custody.

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LIVING IN AUSTRIA

What happens if you get arrested in Austria?

It’s always good to know your legal rights when living as a foreigner in Austria - including if you get in trouble with the police.

What happens if you get arrested in Austria?

Getting arrested is probably not high up on a list of must-dos for international residents in Austria, but it’s not a bad idea to know what would happen if you did.

In a nutshell, the process in Austria is similar to most other countries in that you have to be suspected of committing a crime to be arrested.

But what happens next? What are your rights? And how long can someone be held in custody?

Here’s what you need to know.

FOR MEMBERS: EXPLAINED: What cyclists and drivers in Austria need to know about new rules

When can someone be arrested in Austria?

If someone is suspected of being a criminal, they can be arrested by the police and taken to a police station for questioning. 

Under the Austrian Code of Criminal Procedure, suspects must be informed of their rights as soon as possible, or at the very least before being interrogated by the police.

They also have a right to remain silent or to make a statement, as well as consult a lawyer.

According to Vienna-based attorney Evert Vastenburg, the initial detainment after arrest can last up to 48 hours while a judge decides whether a person should remain in custody or not.

A suspect can then be released on bail or under certain conditions, such as handing over a passport to police.

However, those suspected of serious crimes that typically lead to a prison sentence of 10 years or more (if found guilty) are almost always remanded in custody.

READ MORE: Austria wary of cyber attacks after personal data of foreign residents leaked online

When is someone remanded in custody?

To be refused bail and remanded in custody, there must be serious suspicion that another crime could be committed. 

The judge also must believe there is no other way to deal with the suspect. For example, he/she needs to be readily available to the authorities for questioning.

Another valid reason to keep someone in custody past the initial 48 hours is the risk of someone absconding. In fact, Vastenburg says a flight risk is often assumed with people that do not live and work in Austria.

Other reasons to deny a suspect release are a risk that evidence will be destroyed, witnesses will be contacted, or there is a possibility that further crimes will be committed.

What happens if bail is denied?

If bail is denied and a person must be held in custody for more than 48 hours, they have to be legally represented by a lawyer.

If a suspect can’t afford to hire a lawyer, they will be appointed a Verfahrenshilfe (public defender) by the state.

The case will be then reviewed by a judge on a regular basis to decide if custody should continue.

The first review will take place after 14 days, then at one month and every two months, but a suspect can petition for release at any time.

READ ALSO: Six tourist scams to be aware of in Austria

How many foreigners are in Austrian prisons?

According to data from the Austrian Judiciary, the number of foreigners in Austrian jails as of June 1st 2022 was 4,332 – almost 50 percent of all prisoners.

In relation to the statistics, the Austrian Judiciary states: “The high proportion of foreigners is one of many challenges for the Austrian penal system. 

“In particular, with regard to successful rehabilitation, the fastest possible transfer to the countries of origin is encouraged.

The most common nationality of foreign prisoners in Austria is Romanian, followed by people from the former Yugoslavian states, Hungary, Nigeria and Turkey.

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