Primary, secondary defendants in migrant truck deaths case refuse to testify in court
The primary and secondary defendants in the case of 71 dead migrants found abandoned in a truck on an Austrian motorway in 2015 have refused to testify at their trial currently ongoing in Kecskemét, in central Hungary.
The primary defendant on Thursday told the court that he had read his indictment and knows “which parts of it are correct and which are not”. The suspected human smuggler said he wanted to hear the testimonies of the other defendants before saying anything.
The secondary defendant also refused to testify. In earlier statements he had confessed to the charge of human smuggling but not the murder charges.
The trial got under way on Wednesday. Charges were raised against one Afghan citizen, 9 Bulgarians, and one Bulgarian and Lebanese man holding dual citizenship for human smuggling and other crimes by the Bács-Kiskun County Chief Prosecutor’s Office in early May.
According to the charges, altogether 1,200 people were transported illegally to western Europe between February 2015 and August of the same year on 31 occasions in sealed and crowded lorry compartments, an earlier statement by the court said.
Prosecutors are seeking life sentences in the case of four suspects and fixed-term imprisonment and expulsion from Hungary in the case of seven.