A trial against three young men from Afghanistan, who are accused of jointly raping a 13-year-old girl resulting in death, began before the Vienna Criminal Court on Tuesday.

On June 26, 2021, the young person was found lifeless on a tree by passers-by on a green strip in Vienna-Donaustadt.

The perpetrators are said to have taken her to the apartment of one of them the day before, drugged her and raped her several times.

When her breathing stopped, they are said to have put her outside after unsuccessful attempts to revive her.

The child died of a drug overdose and asphyxiation.

Stephen Lowenstein

Political correspondent based in Vienna.

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According to media reports, the three Afghans came to Austria in 2015 as asylum seekers.

However, their asylum applications were rejected or, in one case, subsidiary protection that had already been granted was revoked because the applicant had committed multiple criminal offenses.

Despite this, in no case was a deportation enforced.

This is one of the reasons why the case has a large media and political echo.

According to the authorities, two of the accused were over 18 years old, although one described himself as younger and the third over 21 years of age.

A cocktail of dissolved pills

The two younger defendants face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty, and the older one faces life imprisonment.

The latter had tried to flee after the crime, had come to Great Britain and had again applied for asylum under a false name.

However, he was arrested and extradited on the basis of a European arrest warrant.

According to investigations, the girl, who lived in the provincial town of Tulln on the Danube, met the youngest of the three on the Danube Canal in Vienna and went to the apartment with him.

She had previously consumed drugs and willingly taken an ecstasy tablet.

Then she was given a cocktail of dissolved pills and then raped her.

One of the young Afghans in whose apartment the crime was committed announced that he was guilty.

According to his account, he had consensual sexual intercourse with the girl.

Then he became unconscious and after waking up only noticed that the girl was lying there lifeless.

He then tried in vain to revive her.

The other two plead not guilty and are said to have blamed each other in interrogations.

The prosecution stated that there was physical evidence that contradicted these allegations.