Eight Iraqis jailed for New Year gang rape in Vienna

Image source, AP
Image caption,
One of the defendants covers his face during the trial

An Austrian court has found eight Iraqi nationals guilty of gang-raping a German tourist during New Year celebrations in Vienna.

The Iraqi men, aged between 22 and 48, were given prison terms of between nine and 13 years for the attack, which took place in the early hours of 1 January, 2016.

A ninth suspect was cleared of all charges, the court said.

The men had all arrived in Austria as migrants between May and December 2015.

Five had been given asylum status after reaching the European country.

Their victim, a 28-year-old woman whom prosecutors said continues to suffer post-traumatic effects, was awarded €25,000 ($26,300; £22,300) in damages.

The woman had been celebrating New Year in the city centre with a friend when she was taken to an apartment by four of the eight men at about 02:00 local time. the court was told.

They met the other four men at the flat, where they then took turns raping her.

She had been drinking heavily and was unable to defend herself, the prosecution said. When she regained control she found herself naked and in a bed.

Claims from the defence that the victim could have sent "false signals" which encouraged the men were dismissed by prosecutors, who said it would have been impossible as she was in in an "unconscious, shock-rigid" state.

Both sides were appealing the decision, the court's statement said.