Vienna machete murder: Life imprisonment for the main defendant

Vienna machete murder: Life imprisonment for the main defendant
The majority of the jury – in the case of the 22-year-old unanimously – came to the conclusion that all four were directly involved in the intentional killing.

The 22-year-old main defendant received a life sentence. The 21-year-old received 15 years in prison, the 25 and 29-year-old men each received 17 years in prison.

The majority of the jury – unanimously in the case of the 22-year-old – came to the conclusion that all four defendants were directly involved in the deliberate killing of 31-year-old Djafaar H.

  • More on this: Vienna Machete Murder Trial: “There can be no blood feud here!”

According to the first instance verdict, they ambushed him on April 20, 2023 at the Jägerstrasse subway station in Vienna-Brigittenau and attacked him with a 70 centimeter long machete and knives after he had been sprayed with pepper spray and thus incapacitated . Due to the large number of injuries sustained and the resulting blood loss, the victim actually had no chance of survival.

When assessing the sentence, the men’s previous integrity was taken into account as a mitigating factor, with the judge emphasizing that due to their involvement in drug dealing, one could not assume that they had a proper lifestyle. In the case of the youngest, the fact that he was not yet 21 at the time of the crime and was therefore a young adult was also taken into account. What was aggravating was “the brutality and ruthlessness in the commission of the crime,” as the verdict stated. In the case of the 22-year-old, who initially hit the victim twice in the head with the machete and then repeatedly slashed the victim’s legs after he fell to the ground, “nothing other than a life sentence could be considered,” said the judge.

15 years for 21 year olds already legally binding

The 21-year-old accepted the sentence imposed on him, while the legal representatives of the three other convicts asked for time to think about it. Their judgments are therefore not legally binding. The public prosecutor agreed with all four verdicts. This means that the 15 years have already become legally binding for the 21-year-old.

The prosecutor was harsh on the accused on the third and final day of the trial. In her closing statement, she called for punishments “at the upper end” and life imprisonment for the main defendant: “There should be no blood feud with us!” The defendants were “like brothers” and therefore decided together to kill 31-year-old Djafaar H., she reminded the jury: “If the honor or respect of only one of the brothers is violated, there is only one one thing: blood revenge. That’s exactly what they did.” The four Algerians “lured the victim into an ambush” and attacked him with a machete and knives until the 31-year-old “lay in pieces.”

“I’ve never been lied to so much and so badly”

The versions that the defendants presented in court were absolutely unbelievable, the prosecutor emphasized: “I have never been lied to so much and so badly in my career. It hurt me at times. All four cheekily lied to us and for Tried to sell stupidly.”

The main defendant admitted during the jury trial that he hit the victim twice in the head with a machete – but only after he had been attacked by his opponent. The co-defendants had done nothing, the 22-year-old assured. Djafaar H. “insulted, humiliated, insulted” her client, said Elisabeth Mace, the 22-year-old’s legal representative, at the end of the proceedings. Her client was “completely beside himself and very tense.” The evidence showed “that the victim was a dangerous criminal and part of a criminal organization that sold drugs from Algeria,” the lawyer noted.

Variety of injuries caused by “sharp blades and great force”

Coroner Wolfgang Denk had previously explained how cruelly 31-year-old Djafaar H. was brought to death. The expert explained that the man suffered “a variety of injuries” that were inflicted “with sharp blades” and “with great force.” The minor defensive injuries indicate an “overwhelming attack” by several people.

According to the prosecution, Djafaar H., who comes from Algeria and is said to have run drug deals in Vienna, was deliberately lured into a trap by the defendants after previous arguments and killed. The murder weapons were a 70 centimeter long machete and several knives. The defendants had known the victim for a long time. All five come or came from Constantine, the third largest city in Algeria with almost 450,000 inhabitants, and had left their homeland for Europe due to a lack of professional prospects. According to the indictment, Djafaar H. was involved in a cross-border narcotics organization; three defendants are said to have worked for him in Vienna as so-called street runners and sold drugs. There are said to have been discrepancies in the billing, the accused – especially the 22-year-old – felt cheated and, according to the indictment, “agreed to finally solve their problems with Djafaar H. by force.”

“Accidentally been at the crime scene”

While the second defendant confessed right at the beginning of the three-day main hearing, the three other defendants denied until the very end that they were involved in the criminal acts. They said they were at the crime scene by chance. Forensic physician Denk contradicted this when he remarked in the large jury courtroom that the pattern of injuries indicated more than one attacking person.

According to the report, Djafaar H. ended up lying on his stomach after he was brought to the ground. The murder weapons were then used against his extremities, rendering him unable to move. Seven slash wounds were inflicted on his legs, which almost completely destroyed the muscles and severed both fibulae. Further blows were delivered to the left lower leg, left hand and head, causing two gaping wounds in the forehead area and a fractured skull.

Amazingly, the rescue workers were able to resuscitate the seriously injured man after arriving at the scene. The man, who, according to Denk, was in an “extensive pool of blood,” was then taken to a clinic, where he received emergency medical care and then transferred to another clinic that specialized in vascular surgery, where he also received medication to support the circulation. The doctors fought for the 31-year-old’s life for twelve hours – he even had a broken blade removed from his calf – before the man died of cardiovascular failure as a result of the massive blood loss he suffered.

This article was updated at 6:35 p.m.

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