Bride Of Migrant Deported At Altar Was Already Married

Story ByKoen BerghuisSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyCEN

The heartbroken bride whose husband-to-be was deported at the alter is reportedly still married to another man who she cheated on with her current squeeze.

The Austrian woman, only identified as 29-year-old Susanne B., was set to marry her 32-year-old boyfriend Langkeba from the West African country of Gambia in a ceremony at the iconic Mirabell Palace in Salzburg.

Police officers sent by the immigration authorities, however, took her fiancee into custody just minutes before the couple were set to exchange their vows.

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The authorities say Langkeba had his asylum application declined and the deportation notice to report himself voluntarily to the authorities lapsed the day before the marriage ceremony.

In a bizarre twist of events, it has now turned out that Susanne B. was already married to another migrant – a marriage which has not yet been annulled, according to local media.

Lawyer Petra Patzelt, who represents the first husband said: “My client and his wife travelled to Nigeria at the beginning of 2016 and married on 7th January 2016 in a big family feast.”

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The happiness was however short-lived as in November 2016 the relationship ended after the Nigerian man, who has two children ages six and four with Susanne B., caught her cheating with her Gambian lover Langkeba.

In the past year, the couple worked on a mutual divorce agreement, although a court ruled on 17th December last year not to accept the divorce just yet, saying that Susanne B. had not yet completed the prescribed family counselling she was ordered to attend. 

Patzelt said: “So the marriage is still standing.”

The registry office of the city of Salzburg has started an investigation and announced they would file a criminal complaint for an attempted double marriage against Susanne B.

The wedding day deportation caused outrage in Austria, with some accusing the cops and immigration authorities of showing a clear lack of sensitivity by not allowing the couple to marry first.

Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache of the far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), the coalition partner of the conservative Austrian People’s Party of Chancellor Kurz, was delighted with the deportation enforcement.

Strache posted an emoji of an aeroplane taking off on social media and wrote: “Rightly so, also a wedding should not prevent the deportation of an illegal African.” 

Susanne B. previously told local media that she thinks that the authorities waited on purpose for the moment of the wedding to strike.

Susanne said: “It was a setup.

“It was just awful. The officials watched us take pictures in front of the castle. Five minutes before the wedding, they then picked up my husband and put him in custody.”

Despite repeated pleas from Susanne’s mother and friends the cops refused to wait for the ceremony to end before taking Langkeba away.

Susanne said: “If only they had told us earlier. Then we would not have ordered this grand wedding. I have to pay for it now, and I’m a single earner.” 

The police, however, denied that they purposely ruined the couple’s wedding and said Langkeba had his asylum application declined and received a notice on 1st April to report himself within three days in Vienna.

He did not report himself, after which the cops came on the fourth day – the day of his wedding – to take him into custody.

The Federal Office of Aliens and Asylum (BFA) – which ordered the police to detain Langkeba – did not want to comment about the peculiar timing of their actions.

According to local media, Langkeba is now in custody pending his deportation to Italy, with the Austrian authorities saying that the Italian authorities are responsible for him according to the Dublin Regulation which determines that an asylum seeker has to file for asylum in the first EU country they set foot in – which in Langkeba’s case is Italy.

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Koen Berghuis

Editor of DACHS / Benelux desk for Central European News, roving correspondent with a penchant for travel, culture, geopolitics, history and the in-depth story behind the headlines.

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