Life For Asylum Seeker Who Killed Benefits Official

Story ByMichael Leidig, Sub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyCentral European News

An asylum seeker banned from Europe a decade ago who returned and applied for asylum in Austria has been jailed for life for killing the local government official who signed his exclusion order.

A jury unanimously found the suspect guilty following the trial about the murder which happened at the local council office of Dornbirn, a city in the westernmost Austrian state of Vorarlberg.

Picture Credit: CEN

The suspect, a 34-year-old Turkish citizen whose name was not reported, stabbed the 49-year-old manager of the social welfare department to death in his office during a row about asylum benefits.

Judge Martin Mitteregger described it as an “extremely brutal, vengeful and deliberate act” for which no other sentence was possible.

It was a bizarre coincidence that the man who was responsible for the asylum seeker’s benefits was also the 49-year-old manager of the social welfare department that signed an exclusion order banning him from Austria a decade ago.

The exclusion order was signed after he was convicted of committing several crimes such as burglaries.

Picture Credit: CEN

A police investigator said: “Since then, the suspect has been given a permanent ban on returning to the Schengen area.”

However, the Turkish man somehow managed to sneak back into Austria illegally a year ago. According to the authorities he filed for asylum on 7th January last year.

The suspect first appeared at the office on 23rd January last year and was reportedly told that he had to apply first in his community of residence for benefits and not at the district authority directly.

A short while later the Turkish man is said to have appeared again in a “quite aggressive state” and demanded to know “where is the money?”

Picture Credit: CEN

As the documents which the man filed in his own municipality had not yet arrived at the district authority office the Turkish man was again told to wait.

But then he appeared a third time and this time he went directly into the normally off-limits area for social workers where he again demanded the money, according to reports.

He was reportedly told the matter would be resolved the same day and that he needed to have a little more patience.

According to police investigator Norbert Schwendinger, the Turkish man left the office, only to come back 30 minutes later carrying a “long kitchen knife”.

As none of the social office employees noticed the man was carrying the knife, he was let inside again where minutes later an argument reportedly broke out followed by a physical attack in which the victim was stabbed 14 times. One of the blows to the chest was so deep it killed him instantly after he lost two litres of blood.

Paramedics reportedly arrived on the scene shortly after but could not prevent the victim, who has not been named in reports, from succumbing to his injuries.

The Turkish man is said to have fled the scene but was caught half an hour later by the cops.

Police noted that during interrogation he showed “no remorse or concern” whatsoever for what he had done.

As well as a lifetime in jail, he was also ordered to pay 20,000 EUR (16,889 GBP) compensation each to the dead man’s wife and two children although it is unlikely he has the money to meet that debt.

He did not react when the sentence was read out and the defence said they plan to appeal.

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