A Channel migrant who drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl before killing her has tried to use a legal technicality to stay in the UK, a court heard today.
Afghan-born Rasuili Zubaidullah, 23, is accused of drugging and raping teenager Leonie Walner whose body was found rolled up in a carpet in the Austrian capital of Vienna last June.
Leonie met Zubaidullah and one of his accomplices at the Danube Canal, Vienna, on June 25 last year.
The three took ecstasy and went back to Zubaidullah’s apartment in Donaustadt, in Vienna’s 22nd district, where they were joined by two other men, 18 and 23.
The men allegedly gave the schoolgirl more drugs to ‘make her compliant’ before brutally raping her and rolling her body up in a carpet. She was then dumped on the street about 100 metres from Zubaidullah’s apartment, an extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard.
Austrian police arrested the three other men, also immigrants, after they allegedly boasted to a friend about having wild sex with a young girl. The friend immediately reported the crime to the police.
Zubaidullah then boarded a boatload of refugees and claimed asylum in Britain. He provided authorities in Kent with a fake name on July 18 last year after he successfully crossed the Channel, the court heard.
He was arrested on July 29 at an Ibis Hotel after an international arrest warrant was issued. He was living at a taxpayer-funded hostel in Whitechapel, east London for two weeks before his arrest.
At a hearing today, his lawyer Ben Keith objected to his extradition under Section 12A of the Extradition Act 2003, by claiming Zubaidullah has ‘not yet been charged or tried’ in Austria.
Leonie Walner’s body was found rolled up in a carpet in the Austrian capital of Vienna last June
Rasuili Zubaidullah is accused of the drugging, rape and suffocation of 13-year-old schoolgirl Leonie Walner
He was arrested by officers from the National Extradition Unit on July 29.
It was initially believed Zubaidullah had made his way to Italy before it became clear he had snuck into the UK.
Wearing a blue, red and white hoodie and a grey jumper, he appeared in custody for a full extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court today.
He spoke through a Farsi interpreter and was flanked by one dock officer and stood maskless as the case against him, involving one charge of rape and another of severe sexual abuse against a person under 14, was laid out.
Jonathan Swain, prosecuting told the court: ‘This case relates to a warrant issued by Austrian authorities on 29 July this year. This was certified by the National Crime Agency a day later.
‘Zubaidullah is suspected of committing two offences on 25 and 26 June last year, which are described as a willful collaboration with three named people.
‘He coerced the alleged victim by force and got her to engage in and acquiesce to sexual intercourse by force.
‘He gave her seven ecstasy pills before having vaginal intercourse with her.
‘It is said the victim was grabbed and choked until she was unable to breathe and suffocated, and therefore she ultimately died.
‘The second charge relates to the fact he had sex with her when she was under 14 years old.’
His lawyer Ben Keith objected to extradition under Section 12A of the Extradition Act 2003, claiming the Austrian authorities had not yet decided to charge Zubiadullah.
He said: ‘The issue is whether this case is in fact going to proceed to prosecution and whether this defendant is going to be prosecuted.
‘The court could request further information, or it could discharge this case.
‘We say the fact Austrian authorities have tried to interview this defendant is evidence that the reason they have not progressed this far is not because the defendant is not in the country, but because he is still at the investigation stage.
‘There is enough information to show no decision has been made to charge him.’
District Judge Michael Snow deferred judgement until January 12, to give his lawyer- who is isolating because of the pandemic – time to have an in-person conference with Zubaidullah to discuss whether to appeal if it is decided he should return to Austria.
The case has raised concerns that checks on Afghan refugees coming into the UK are not strict enough, at a time when border crossings have reached record highs.
Source: Daily Mail