A German court sentenced a prominent Holocaust denier extradited from Canada to five years in prison on Thursday for inciting racial hatred and denying the Nazis murdered six million Jews.
Ernst Zuendel, publisher of works such as "Did six million
really die?", was handed the maximum sentence under German law for Holocaust denial.
Zuendel, 67, has been in custody in Germany since March 2005 after being deported from Canada. The court would not release him on bail because of the danger he would flee.
In his closing statement Zuendel said the court should set up an international commission of experts to examine the
Holocaust. If the commission confirmed the gassing of Jews, he told the court he would convene a press conference to apologize to Jews and other victims.
The trial was suspended in late 2005 after the judge
dismissed a publicly appointed defense lawyer when she produced written submissions that appeared to deny the Holocaust. It resumed just over a year ago.
Zuendel is a German citizen who has spent much of his life
in Canada and whose name is sometimes spelled Zundel. He ran a Web site and distributed a publication called "Germania Rundbrief" denying the Holocaust took place.
There were posters of Zuendel and other prominent Holocaust deniers at last year's Holocaust conference in Tehran organized by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
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