Vienna park rapist arrested in Greece

A man who raped a woman who was walking her dog in a park in Vienna has been arrested in Greece under an international warrant after police traced him using a DNA sample.

Vienna park rapist arrested in Greece
The park where the woman was attacked is part of the Laaer Berg nature area.

Austrian justice officials have requested that the man, a Romanian citizen with previous criminal convictions, should be extradited to Austria.

A 39-year-old woman was attacked and raped on September 30th as she was walking her dog in Löwygrube park in the 10th district at around 8pm. A man suddenly grabbed her by her hair and dragged her into the bushes. When she tried to scream for help her attacker hit her in the face and choked her with her scarf. After he had raped her he took her mobile phone and ran off.

The woman was able to ask walkers in the park for help and they called the police. She was taken to hospital, and doctors found DNA traces from the rapist.

Police spokesman Thomas Keiblinger said that the woman had been very brave and done exactly what she ought to do after such an attack. “It’s very important for the police investigation that a rape victim should immediately go to hospital for a medical examination. I know that it’s hard not to be able to have a shower first or change clothes but this is the only way to secure DNA traces as evidence.”

A record of the suspect’s DNA was found in both German and Romanian police databases. “He already served time in prison in Germany for robbery, and he was then deported to Romania on September 19th,” Keiblinger said.

However, shortly after being deported the 36-year-old man entered Austria. Police say they don’t believe that he had a fixed address in Vienna, and that he probably fled to Greece almost immediately after the rape. He was arrested on November 10th.



Austrian police smash people smuggling ring

Police have smashed a group believed to have smuggled tens of thousands of people with two of them found suffocated in a truck last year, Austria's interior ministry announced on Thursday.

Austrian police smash people smuggling ring

A total of 205 people suspected to be linked to the group have been arrested in central and eastern Europe, while 80 vehicles have been seized, Interior Minister Gerhard Karner said.

Of the arrests, 92 of them were in Austria, and the rest in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania.

Investigators, who began looking into the case early last year, believe the group smuggled more than 36,100 people, including children, from Hungary to Austria.

With this they raked in an estimated 152 million euros ($159 million), making this the biggest operation uncovered in Austria in recent years, according to Karner.

“This is an important success against organised crime and a serious blow to the smuggler mafia,” Karner said in a statement. Those smuggled were trying to reach western European countries, including Germany and France.

They were brought to Vienna and then smuggled on through other groups, the statement said. In one incident linked to the group, the bodies of two people were discovered last October when Austrian authorities stopped and searched a van at the border with Hungary.

Twenty-seven others were crammed in the vehicle, whose driver fled the scene, but has since been arrested in Latvia and extradited, according to the ministry. In another incident in January linked to the group, an alleged smuggler fired at an army conscript when troops tried to stop his vehicle. The man has since been arrested in Hungary. Austria this week once again extended border controls on its frontiers with Hungary and Slovenia.

Such controls provide authorities “with important insights into smuggling organisations and their procedures,” Karner said.

The European Court of Justice in April criticised Austria’s long-term controls on its border to Slovenia. It ruled that EU member states can only prolong border controls when “confronted with a new serious threat affecting its public order or its internal security”.