Austria: Fugitive author to serve 18 months for Holocaust denial

Vienna's highest court on Monday confirmed an 18-month prison term handed down to a right-wing Austrian writer who had fled to Spain after being convicted on Holocaust denial charges 15 years ago. The court ruled that Gerd Honsik, 67, must serve out the sentence, which was handed down in 1992. It rejected Honsik's plea to have the sentence reduced because of his age and an unspecified illness, but also turned down a prosecution request to make the former fugitive serve even more time. Honsik was captured in southern Spain in August and extradited in October. He fled after his conviction for denying the existence of the Holocaust and claiming the Nazis never used gas chambers. The charges stemmed from writings that defended Adolf Hitler's Third Reich.