Irving says he has no choice but to admit charges of Holocaust denial
DAVID Irving, the British revisionist historian, revealed last night that he would plead guilty to charges of Holocaust denial when he appears in a Vienna court next week. Mr Irving, 67, who has been held in an Austrian prison since last November, said he did not consider himself to be a Holocaust denier but had no choice but plead "guilty as charged''.
"Under the law I've got no alternative,'' he told the television channel More4 News.
But he added: "I deny that I'm a Holocaust denier. This is a filthy smear.''
The charges date back to 1989, when the Right-wing author of books such as Hitler's War gave speeches in Vienna and Leoben in which he disputed the existence of the gas chambers in Nazi concentration camps. Under Austrian law, denying the Holocaust is illegal and punishable with a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Mr Irving said he had been labelled a Holocaust denier by Austrian and German journalists and deliberately misunderstood. "It means they've not read anything I've written since the actual offence was committed, which is 1989 - 17 years ago,'' he said.
"If they read that, they'll see I describe in great detail what Hitler and his troops were doing to the Jews behind the Eastern front ... I'm very angry indeed about it.''
Mr Irving was arrested in Austria in November, where he was to give a lecture to a Right-wing student fraternity.
He accused Austria of acting like a "Nazi state'' for allegedly burning books of his that the authorities found - to their embarrassment - in the prison library.
Mr Irving, who lives in London and Florida, said his lawyer had advised him to plead guity.
Mr Irving lost a high-profile court case in London in 2000 in which he sued the US academic Deborah Lipstadt for calling him a Holocaust denier. The judge described him as a "falsifier of history''.
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