Austria's highest court rejects appeal in David Irving trial

Historians in the News

Austria's Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by right-wing British historian David Irving and upheld the conviction in his Holocaust denial case, the Austria Press Agency reported Monday.

In February, a Vienna state court convicted Irving of denying the Holocaust and sentenced him to three years in prison.

The Alpine country's highest court rejected the appeal during a closed session last week, APA said, citing a preliminary communication from the court.

A court spokesman did not return repeated calls for confirmation Monday, and Irving's lawyer was not immediately available for comment.

A decision on an appeal of Irving's sentence is still pending, APA reported.

During his one-day trial, Irving pleaded guilty and conceded he had erred in contending there were no gas chambers at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

"I made a mistake when I said there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz," Irving testified, at one point expressing sorrow "for all the innocent people who died during the Second World War."

Irving had been in custody in Austria since his November arrest on charges stemming from two speeches he gave in Austria in 1989 in which he was accused of denying the Nazis' extermination of 6 million Jews. He has contended that most of those who died at concentration camps such as Auschwitz succumbed to diseases such as typhus rather than execution.

The court convicted Irving under a 1992 law, which applies to "whoever denies, grossly plays down, approves or tries to excuse the National Socialist genocide or other National Socialist crimes against humanity in a print publication, in broadcast or other media."

Read entire article at International Herald Tribune

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