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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 February 2007, 13:06 GMT
Jail for German Holocaust denier
Holocaust denier Ernst Zuendel in court
Ernst Zuendel wrote a book extolling the virtues of Hitler
A German Holocaust denier who regularly lavished praise on Adolf Hitler has been sentenced to five years in jail by a German court.

Ernst Zuendel was convicted of 14 counts of inciting racial hatred and for denying that the Nazis killed six million Jews during World War II.

He received the maximum sentence under German law which bans Holocaust denial.

Zuendel moved to Canada in 1958 but was judged a national security threat and deported back to Germany in 2005.

The 67-year-old once published a book called The Hitler We Loved and Why, and described the former Nazi leader as "a decent and very peaceful man".

EU ban plan

During his trial in the western German city of Mannheim, he was accused of using "pseudo-scientific" methods to try to rewrite the accepted history of the Nazi Holocaust in 14 pieces of written work and internet publications.

Zuendel had denied the charges, asserting his right to free speech, and questioned the constitutionality of the laws being used against him.

Germany hopes to make Holocaust denial a crime across the EU as part of a package of laws it wants to introduce during its presidency of the bloc.

Berlin is also set to outline plans to ban Nazi symbols like the swastika, which, like denying the massacre of the Jews, is already outlawed in Germany.

However, correspondents says such moves may be seen as curtailing freedom of speech and could prove controversial in several member states.




SEE ALSO
Banning the freedom to deny
07 Feb 07 |  Europe
Canada expels Holocaust denier
01 Mar 05 |  Americas

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