Eleven men are on trial over the horrific deaths of 71 migrants found in an abandoned truck in Austria nearly two years ago, in one of the most disturbing cases marking Europe’s migration crisis.
The gruesome discovery of 59 men, eight women and four children crammed inside a poultry refrigerator lorry near the Hungarian border in August 2015 sparked widespread revulsion and it highlighted the plight of refugees at the hands of merciless smugglers.
It also prompted countries along the now shut western Balkan migrant route to open their borders to hundreds of thousands of people fleeing war and poverty, mainly in the Middle East.
The trial is being held in the Hungarian town of Kecskemet because authorities determined that the migrants’ deaths had occurred in Hungary.
The defendants are 10 Bulgarians, one Afghan and one Lebanese national are accused of human trafficking and torture.