A district court in Vienna has convicted three adult males from Afghanistan of having raped and murdered a 13-year-old girl from Bavaria named Leonie, bringing an end to a case that brought immense grief and rage to the hearts of many far beyond Austria.
While the primary defendant, 24-year-old Zubaidullah R., was found guilty of rape and murder and sentenced to life in prison, the two co-defendants, 20-year-old Ali H. and 19-year-old Ibraulhaq A., were found guilty of murder by omission for failing to call emergency services after Leonie overdosed on the drugs that had been administered to her. The two were sentenced to 19 and 20 years, respectively, the Vienna-based newspaper Der Standard reports.
According to the indictment, the young girl, who was at the house of one of the suspects one night in June 2021, was given a drink with at least six ecstasy pills, causing her to overdose. While Leonie was incapacitated—and dying from an overdose—the three men raped her and filmed her agony. When it was clear that she had passed away, the perpetrators dumped her body on a grass verge on the side of a road in a residential area of Vienna. She was found with bruises around her neck, wearing only her underwear, and leaning against a tree.
Court records say the young victim died of a triple fatal overdose and asphyxiation. Physical evidence that the public prosecutor’s office relied upon to make their case included toxicological tests, DNA traces, injuries, and a video of Leonie’s pain and suffering, which one of the defendants recorded on his mobile telephone after the abuse had taken place.
During closing arguments, the prosecutor told the court she was “stunned” by what the defendants said during proceedings, saying that “there is no trace of honestly meant remorse.”
At the time of the arrests, the Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung reported that the Afghan men had come to Austria in 2015 during the migrant crisis—one as a so-called ‘unaccompanied minor.’ One of the men, after being convicted of drug trafficking, had his asylum application rejected and was issued a deportation order. Despite that, he continued to reside in the country.
Then-Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP), speaking on the issue of crimes being carried out by foreigners, said that he thinks “it’s intolerable that people come to us, say they’re looking for protection, and then commit cruel, barbaric crimes in Austria.”
The co-governing Greens have blamed the interior ministry, which has been led by ÖVP for years, for the delayed deportations.
The court’s decision comes two months after a 24-year-old Algerian migrant, who had previously been given the order to leave French territory, was indicted for the kidnapping, rape, and murder of a 12-year-old schoolgirl named Lola in the French capital, as The European Conservative previously reported.