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Swede sentenced to prison for Auschwitz sign theft

 A police officer takes handcuffs from Anders Hogstrom at a session of court in Krakow, Poland, on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010. The  Polish court has appr...
 Anders Hogstrom, from Sweden, right, listens to a session of court in Krakow, Poland, on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010. The  Polish court has approved pris...
 Police lead Anders Hogstrom, from Sweden, second right, in to a session of court in Krakow, Poland, on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010. The  Polish court has...

Poland Auschwitz Sign

A police officer takes handcuffs from Anders Hogstrom at a session of court in Krakow, Poland, on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010. The Polish court has appr...

Poland Auschwitz Sign

Anders Hogstrom, from Sweden, right, listens to a session of court in Krakow, Poland, on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010. The Polish court has approved pris...

Poland Auschwitz Sign

Police lead Anders Hogstrom, from Sweden, second right, in to a session of court in Krakow, Poland, on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010. The Polish court has...

A Swedish man was sentenced Thursday to two years and eight months in prison for instigating the theft last year of the notorious "Arbeit Macht Frei" ("Work Sets You Free") sign from the former Auschwitz death camp.
A judge at a regional court in the southern Polish city of Krakow approved a settlement that Anders Hogstrom reached with prosecutors, court spokesman Rafal Lisak said.
Hogstrom, who had confessed to involvement in the December 2009 theft, was convicted of instigating it. He is expected to be transferred to Sweden in the coming weeks to serve his term, Lisak said.
Both sides have seven days to appeal the verdict. If no appeal is made _ which appears likely given the deal between the defendant and prosecutors _ Hogstrom can then be transferred to Sweden.
Prosecutor Robert Parys said the main motive of the group of six that carried out the theft was financial.
Hogstrom maintains that another Swedish man talked him into organizing the heist, but Polish prosecutors have been unable to find evidence to support his claim, Parys said.
Judge Jaroslaw Gaberle also approved plea deals Thursday for two Polish men, Marcin Auguscinski and Andrzej Strychalski. They were convicted of involvement in stealing the sign and given sentences of 2 1/2 years and two years and four months respectively.
Three other Poles involved in the case were convicted of secondary roles in the theft and handed prison terms in March.
The theft occurred in the night between Dec. 17 and Dec. 18, 2009. Police tracked down the sign less than three days after it was stolen, finding it cut into three pieces in a forest.
Between 1940 and 1945 more than 1 million people, mostly Jews, were killed in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau or died of starvation, disease and hard physical labor at the camp, which Nazi Germany set up in occupied Poland.


Updated : 2021-05-09 10:25 GMT+08:00