Four human traffickers, the ringleader from Afghanistan and three of his accomplices from Bulgaria, have been sentenced to life in prison by a Hungarian court for the deaths of 71 migrants found inside an abandoned truck in Austria.
The four were sentenced by a Hungarian appeals court on Thursday after being found guilty of manslaughter and given lesser terms last year.
Dozens of bodies of the migrants were found by police in August 2015, in a state of decomposing in a truck on the A4 highway which links Vienna and Budapest, the capitals of Austria and Hungary.
It is alleged those who died could have suffocated inside the truck, according to authorities.
The court heard that the migrants tried to alert the driver of the danger of suffocating by banging doors but the traffickers ignored the loud screams.
Presiding Judge Erik Mezolaki said: “The suffering in that truck is beyond imagination, as is the utmost indifference the perpetrators showed toward the deaths of these 71 people.”
“Therefore for those who played a core part, there is no doubt that the only punishment commensurate with their crime is the maximum one, which is life in jail without parole.”