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Policeman sentenced over parking row

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Policeman sentenced over parking row
Photo: APA
16:43 CEST+02:00
A senior police officer has been sentenced to ten months in prison by Vienna's Criminal Court for abuse of office over a parking space dispute.

In March 2010 the officer got into a row with another driver when they both spotted a parking space that was about to be vacated on Vienna’s Linke Wienzeile road.

The officer was in his car behind the other driver, who was waiting for another car to leave the space. When it became apparent that he wasn't going to get the space the policeman got out of this car, pulled out his badge and told the other driver that he needed to inspect his vehicle.

The driver told the trial that he felt like he was in an episode of the 1970s cult police TV series Kottan ermittelt.

The man later made an official complaint about the police officer. However, when the incident was investigated the accused officer pretended that he was in charge and questioned a witness himself.

When the witness was questioned a second time by another police officer the defendant pressed a list of questions into the officer’s hand that were designed to harm his opponent and “had nothing to do with the facts”, the judge said.

The police officer pleaded not guilty and said that as far as he knew he hadn’t broken the law. He can still appeal the sentence.

The officer was acquitted of a separate charge, due to insufficient evidence. In 2009 he was accused of kicking and injuring a homeless person. 

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