German court convicts 3 smugglers over deaths of 13 migrants

A court in southern Germany has convicted three Syrian men over the drowning deaths of 13 migrants off the coast of Greece in September 2015.

Prosecutors accused the men of "professional smuggling of people resulting in death."

The court in Traunstein near the Austrian border on Friday sentenced the 27-year-old main defendant to four years in prison for organizing the boat that was to take Syrian refugees from Turkey to the island of Lesbos.

The boat struck a freighter shortly before reaching shore, killing 13 people. Two children are still missing.

Judges sentenced the man who drove the boat to two years in prison. A third man, who acted as a liaison for families, received a two-year suspended sentence.

The three defendants had come to Germany as refugees themselves.