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CRIME

Nazi ritual murder suspect ‘mentally ill’

The investigation into the brutal murder of a young woman in Saalfelden, Pinzgau last autumn has uncovered more evidence that it was a ritual killing committed by an insane man, according to the accused’s lawyer.

Nazi ritual murder suspect 'mentally ill'
The murder happened in one of these apartments. Photo: APA/NEUMAYR

The body of 20-year-old Mirela B., a Bosnian-born waitress, was found in pool of blood in the bathroom of the suspect’s mother’s apartment on October 9th.

She had been stabbed multiple times. It was reported that she had Nazi symbols carved into her skin, had been raped, and that the suspect had eaten parts of her body.

A 21-year-old man was found at the crime scene and arrested for her murder. He is currently in Salzburg prison, awaiting trial.  

His lawyer, Liane Hirschbrich, told the Austrian Press Agency that a forensic examination of the crime suggests that her client was suffering from “delusions” which led him to commit the gruesome slaying.

She added that his mental state was even worse than previously suspected. "The findings indicate that this is an offense that no normal human being could commit,” she said. “My client is sick, and he needs to be admitted to a special institution where his mental illness can be treated,” she said.

However, according to Salzburg-based neuro-psychiatrist Ernst Griebnitz the young man has a severe personality disorder but is sane, and fit to stand trial.

Hirschbrich is demanding that another well-known forensic psychiatrist, Reinhard Haller, should examine her client.

The suspect was drunk when he was arrested and was apparently friends with Mirela. He confessed to her murder.

CRIME

Austrian people smuggler jailed over deaths of Syrians in minivan

An Austrian court on Monday sentenced a people smuggler to seven years in prison over the deaths of two Syrians who suffocated in the crammed minivan he was driving, Austria's news agency reported.

Austrian people smuggler jailed over deaths of Syrians in minivan

The bodies of the two men were discovered last October when Austrian authorities stopped and searched a van at the border with Hungary.

Thirty people in total were crammed in the vehicle, whose driver fled the scene but was later arrested in Latvia and extradited.

The 19-year-old Latvian was found guilty of people smuggling and causing fatal injuries, but was not found guilty of murder, APA reported.

READ MORE: Austrian police warn public about new ‘fake cops’ scam

He said he would accept the verdict, but the prosecution can still appeal it, APA said.

A court spokeswoman could not immediately be reached by AFP. 

Austria’s interior ministry announced in May that police had smashed a group believed to have smuggled tens of thousands of mostly Syrians, including the two found suffocated, from Hungary to Austria.

A total of 205 people suspected to be linked to the group have been arrested in central and eastern Europe, the ministry said.

Those smuggled, including children, were trying to reach western European countries, including Germany and France.

The October discovery of the dead men recalled a dire event in August 2015 when 71 people from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan suffocated in the back of an air-tight van where they had been hidden by people smugglers.

The bodies, including those of three children and a baby, were discovered in Austria but they had died while still on the other side of the border.

Almost four years later, the Hungarian courts sentenced their smugglers to life imprisonment.

The emotion aroused by that tragedy triggered a brief opening of the borders to hundreds of thousands of people wishing to reach Western Europe.

But Austria and other European countries have since fortified borders to stop people smuggling.

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