A Turkish man was sentenced to jail for trying to smuggle 51 migrants into Germany last year. The court ruled the man was indifferent to the health and safety of the men, women and children held in the back of his truck.
A court in the eastern German city of Frankfurt an der Oder handed down a jail sentence on Tuesday to a truck driver who tried to smuggle asylum-seekers into Germany last year.
The 47-year-old Turkish man was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for allegedly trying to smuggle 51 men, women and children over the German-Polish border.
The court’s verdict is not yet final, with two more hearings to come.
Federal police discovered the 50 Iraqis and one Syrian during a routine check on a highway near the border.
The asylum-seekers were reportedly hidden in the truck’s trailer between unsecured, heavy loads. All of the travelers, including the 17 children, were thirsty and hungry and some showed symptoms of dehydration.
At the time, German federal police posted a picture of the discovery on Twitter, showing the asylum-seekers packed into the back of the truck.
Driver ‘responsible’ for welfare of migrants
Presiding Judge Peter Wolf found the defendant guilty of endangering the lives of the migrants and said that he was indifferent to their situation.
“You had the duty to take care of the people you were transporting. You can’t talk yourself out of that responsibility,” Wolf said in his decision, reported German news site Der Westen.