Germany: man sentenced after Alexa testimony Amazon virtual assistance

Recordings made by Amazon's virtual assistance speakers were used in a court in Germany.

A legal first.


Text by: RFI Follow

2 min

This is a legal first in Germany.

Two recordings made by Amazon's Echo speaker and provided by the company to magistrates led to the confusion of a man accused of a crime. 


Read more

With our correspondent in Berlin, 

Pascal Thibaut 

The accused, a 54-year-old man, could not bear to have his ex-girlfriend end their relationship and could not imagine that she would start her life over again with another man.

A year ago, he had met her again and during a consensual intercourse, according to the investigation, had strangled her.

The man then sent messages from his ex-girlfriend's cell phone to cover his tracks and attempted suicide.

The judges of Regensburg in Bavaria used for the first time in Germany recordings of the virtual assistance Alexa which equips the speakers of Amazon.

The device was in the room where the crime took place.

The German Criminal Procedure Code allows such a possibility.

As the data was not saved on a European server, the magistrates had to make a request to Amazon which provided a month later two recordings made during the night of the crime and on which the voice of the accused requesting Alexa was audible.

The person concerned has recognized it.

This recording helped to prove the presence of the accused at the scene of the crime.

He was sentenced to ten years in prison.

►Also read: 

Should we and can we stem the power of Amazon?


Receive all international news directly in your mailbox

I subscribe

Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application


  • Germany

  • Justice