Channel migrant ‘drugged, raped and strangled’ 13-year-old girl before fleeing to UK, court hears

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An Afghan immigrant escaped to Britain on a small boat across the Channel after allegedly gang-raping and killing a 13-year-old girl in Austria, an extradition court heard on Thursday.

Raculi Zubaidullah, 23, is accused with three other suspects of drugging Leonie Walner with ecstasy pills then suffocating her before dumping her body in a rolled up carpet. Leonie’s body was found on 26 June last year in Weiner Neustadt.

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.

The body of Leonie was found wrapped in a roll of carpet dumped under a tree in central Vienna.

Within hours Zubaidullah had run away, dodging Austrian police. He fled hundreds of miles to Dunkirk in France, evading a pan-European manhunt for him before boarding a trafficker’s boat across the Channel to Britain.

Arriving in Dover on the Kent coast, he duped immigration officials by claiming asylum using a false name and was put up by the Government in the Ibis hotel in Whitechapel, east London, which is being used to house migrants.

Acting on a tip-off from Austrian authorities, British police found him hiding in a room at the hotel in late July, little more than a month after Leonie had died.

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