Austrian Sentenced for Hitler Voice Mail
From Associated Press
December 22, 2005 11:47 AM EST
VIENNA, Austria - An Austrian court added two months to the sentence of a convicted thief Thursday because he used an oath of loyalty to Adolf Hitler as a voice mail greeting on his cell phone.
The 20-year-old defendant, whose name was withheld in accordance with privacy laws, was convicted by a court in the Alpine province of Tyrol, where police accidentally came across his phone message in 2004 when they called to question him about a burglary.
Prosecutors said the man had downloaded the offending audio from the Internet and saved it on his cell phone to greet callers when he was unable to answer.
It said: "I swear unswerving loyalty to Adolf Hitler! I swear absolute obedience! Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!"
The defendant testified Thursday that the download was a "spontaneous act" and that he did not fully embrace the meaning of the oath.
The man was sentenced to a year in prison for theft and fencing stolen goods, but the court tacked on two extra months for the voice mail greeting, invoking an Austrian law making Nazi propaganda a crime.
"What nonsense!" the defendant said as he left the courtroom, according to the Austria Press Agency.