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Austrian jailed by US court for arranging murder of ex-wife

A judge in the United States has branded an Austrian man as the "most diabolical, manipulative, soulless individual" she had ever had in her courtroom before sentencing him to up to 81 years in prison for trying to arrange the murder of his ex-wife and her 13-year-old daughter, as well as that of the hit man who failed to kill them.

The court heard how Maikel Pouliczek, 30, beat and threatened his ex-partner Barbara Zangerl, also Austrian, repeatedly in a bid to force her to marry him with the hope this would give him the US green card needed to work in the country.

The two met in Austria before Zangerl got a job as a research scientists in the US and Pouliczek came with her.

Pouliczek also threatened to have Zangerl's teenage daughter killed and, in front of his partner, arranged over the phone to have her sister and mother stalked in Austria. The jury heard that he also tried to control Zangerl's life by screening her calls and monitoring her emails.

It wasn't until he was put in jail for an unrelated incident with a gun, did Zangerl report the abuse to the police - a move that obviously angered Pouliczek who offered a fellow inmate 50,000 USD to carry out the murder of Zangerl and her daughter.

Luckily for Zangerl, the inmate reported the request to authorities and Pouliczek was charged with soliciting murder. This didn't deter him however from then sending a note to a second inmate with a similar offer, only this time it was to kill the first 'failed hitman'. He was caught out this time too after the note he sent was discovered by prison wardens in the inmate's cell in a routine check.

Now a jury in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court have found him guilty of two counts of soliciting murder and related charges.

Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright sentenced him to between 37 and 81 years in prison, recommending that if he ever was let out of prison he should "be deported immediately so the citizens of the United States are safe from the evil that he is capable of."

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