Irving could be released within months

Holocaust denier was jailed "for something he said 17 years ago."

August 30, 2006 22:50
2 minute read.
daving irving 298 ap

daving irving 298.88 ap. (photo credit: AP [file])


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The British Holocaust revisionist David Irving, jailed in Austria in February on Holocaust denial charges, could be released in a matter of months according to European Jewish Press, a Brussels based news portal. "I don't think the Supreme Court has any other choice than to overrule the verdict as grave errors were made in the initial trial," Irving's lawyer Herbert Schaller said. "The sentence imposed on my client is ridiculously long - child abusers often don't get half of that. I personally find the matter outrageous. "Mr. Irving was thrown into prison for something that he said 17 years ago. There really is no legal ground for the dubious decision made so far, and I'm not even contemplating the possibility that the Supreme Court will uphold the verdict." Irving claimed at the trial that he had changed his views on gas chambers over the years. However, he continued to doubt the figure of 6 million Jews killed and the judge did not believe Irving was being genuine when he said he had been convinced that gas chambers did in fact exist. Schaller, who has been dubbed the "neo-Nazi lawyer," last year represented revisionist Ernest Zundel, a German-born Canadian and distributor of the booklet Did Six Million Really Die? and a co-publisher of the book The Hitler We Loved and Why. He said they are now just waiting for a decision, which he expects by autumn. Irving was arrested in November 2005 for speeches he made in Austria in 1989 in which he said there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz, no extermination camps in the Third Reich and called Adolf Hitler a protector of Europe's Jews. He was jailed for three years by a Viennese court for lying about the Holocaust, a crime under Austrian law, which some thought was too lenient. However Austrian state prosecutors have lodged an appeal to try to lengthen his three-year jail term. They said he remained a beacon for the European neo-Nazi movement and had been treated too lightly after the judge at the trial in February declared Irving's show of remorse to be a case of crocodile tears. During the trial, Irving changed his lawyer from the respected Elmar Kresbach to the aging Schaller amid reports he had run out of cash. Irving's Danish partner, Bente Hogh, admitted that she and their daughter Jessica, 12, had had to move from their luxury apartment in London into a small apartment. She said: "It's all we can afford, we're practically broke." But Irving is hoping to publish his memoirs, entitled Irving's War, which he has written in prison and hopes it will provide a healthy income. In prison he has made good use of the library, although he was refused the books on Auschwitz he had requested. He said that prison was a "good place for a writer to be - the solitude is good."

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