Human traffickers get life in Hungary over 71 deaths

FILE – In this Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015 file photo, investigators stand near an abandoned truck on the shoulder of Highway A4 near Parndorf, Austria, south of Vienna. A Hungarian court has extended the prison sentences of four human traffickers convicted last year for their roles in a 2015 in which 71 migrants suffocated to death in the back of a refrigerated truck found on a highway in Austria. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, file)

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BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — A Hungarian court has extended the prison sentences of four human traffickers convicted last year for their roles in a 2015 incident in which 71 migrants suffocated in the back of a refrigerated truck found on a highway in Austria.

According to Thursday’s decision by an appeals court in the southern city of Szeged, an Afghan man and two Bulgarian accomplices were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, while another Bulgarian man may request his release after 30 years in prison. A year ago, all four had been given 25-year sentences for belonging to a criminal organization and committing multiple crimes, including human smuggling and manslaughter.

Ten other defendants, mostly Bulgarians, were given prison terms ranging between four and 12 years.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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