Austrian tragedy suspects remanded in custody till Sept 29

Austrian tragedy suspects remanded in custody till Sept 29

KECSKEMET, Hungary - A Hungarian court on Saturday remanded in custody until at least September 29 four suspects in the deaths of 71 migrants found in an abandoned truck in Austria.

"The period of preliminary detention of the four suspects has been extended to September 29," the head judge of the court in Kecskemet, Ferenc Bicskei, told a press conference.

"If charges are not filed by the investigating prosecutors by that date, but the judge considers that there is reasonable cause to extend this period, then it can be extended beyond that date," added Szabolcs Sarkozy, a spokesman for the court.

Police believe the three Bulgarians and one Afghan - aged 29, 30, 50 and 28 respectively - include the owner of the truck found on an Austrian motorway on Thursday and its drivers.

They suspect they are low-ranking members of one of the numerous and often unscrupulous human trafficking gangs that prey on many of the tens of thousands migrants coming to Europe.

Prosecutors said they want them kept in detention due to the "exceptional nature of the crime, the subsequent deaths of the smuggled persons and the perpetration of the criminal act of people-smuggling in a businesslike manner."

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