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German prosecutors seek 5-year prison term for Holocaust denier

German prosecutors seek 5-year prison term for Holocaust denier

German prosecutors asked a court Friday to sentence Ernst Zundel to five years in prison for his persistent denial of the Holocaust through his writings and a high-profile Web site.
In his closing arguments, prosecutor Andreas Grossmann called Zundel a "political con man" from whom the German people must be protected, widely quoting from his writings, which argue that millions of Jews did not die at the hands of the Nazis.
"You might as well argue that the sun rises in the west," said Grossmann, asking that Zundel be given the maximum sentence. "But you cannot change that the Holocaust has been proven."
Zundel, 66, is charged with 14 counts of incitement for a series of pamphlets and for disseminating far-right and anti-Semitic propaganda through his Web site, which is hosted in Canada, according to the indictment.
Zundel, who was deported from Canada in 2005 and has also lived in the U.S. state of Tennessee, has been standing trial since November of last year. Since his deportation, he and his supporters have argued that Zundel is a peaceful campaigner denied his right to free speech.
A previous incitement trial involving Zundel collapsed last year over a dispute with his attorney. At one stage she had to be carried from the courtroom, screaming, after defying an order banning her from the trial on grounds she tried to sabotage the proceedings by denouncing the court as a "tool of foreign domination."
Defense attorney Herbert Schaller, who is one of five lawyers representing Zundel, began with closing arguments later Friday, telling the court that all of its evidence that the Holocaust took place was based only on witness reports, instead of hard facts.
Schaller is to continue his arguments, and several other of Zundel's defense attorneys have said they will also make closing remarks when the trial continues next week.
Denying the Holocaust is a crime in Germany and is punishable by three months to five years in prison.


Updated : 2020-12-04 20:06 GMT+08:00