A 17-year-old Swedish woman who is suspected to be an Islamic State supporter arrives for the start of her trial.
A 17-year-old Swedish woman who is suspected to be an Islamic State supporter arrives for the start of her trial. Credit: Ronald Zak / AP.

Teen found guilty in Vienna IS case, but Sweden may see her as a victim

2:26 min

A court in Vienna has found a 17-year-old Swedish girl guilty for trying to join the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria. But while Austria has seen the girl as a criminal, Sweden sees her as the possible victim of crime.

Although the court in Vienna sentenced the girl on Thursday to one year in prison she was released the same day after the judge commuted her sentence seeing that she had been in custody since her arrest in December 2015. The teenager has maintained her innocence.

"She was happy that this nightmare was over," the teen's defense lawyer Wolfgang Blaschitz told Radio Sweden. He confirmed that his client was already on her way back to Sweden Thursday afternoon.

Blaschitz said there are no restrictions on his client following her conviction but added that "she told me that she will never return to Austria in her life."

The prosecutor claimed the girl was chatting with people connected to IS on her mobile phone. The suspect's lawyer Wolfgang Blaschitz said his client never met any of those she communicated with personally and that having controversial opinions is not against the law.

Sweden's National Coordinator against prostitution and trafficking, Patrik Cederlöf, was following the case today in Austria. 

"This is one of the forms of human trafficking, to be recruited for war service," he said to Swedish Radio News. "This is the first case in which a Swedish child or youth is involved, and I believe that it is incredibly important to be here and listen to how people reason from the Austrian side, when they have her as the defendant."

But criminal inspector Maria Hector was tight-lipped about the Swedish police's investigation and she did not want to say whether there were any suspects at the moment.

"The situation for us is looking good, because now she's coming home, so we can hold a hearing with her," said Hector to Swedish Radio News.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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