2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Holocaust denier sentenced to prison
British historian retracts
earlier denial, gets lighter
VIENNA, Austria (AP) - Right-
wing British historian David Irving
was sentenced to three years in prison
yesterday after admitting to an Austrian
court that he denied the Holocaust - a
crime in the country where Hitler was
Irving, who pleaded guilty and then
insisted during his one-day trial that he
now acknowledged the Nazis' World
War II slaughter of 6 million Jews, had
faced up to 10 years behind bars. Before
the verdict, Irving conceded he had
erred in contending there were no gas
chambers at the Auschwitz concentra-
"I made a mistake when I said there
were no gas chambers at Auschwitz,"
Irving testified, at one point expressing
sorrow "for all the innocent people who
died during the Second World War."
Irving, stressing he only relied on pri-
mary sources, said he came across new
information in the early 1990's from
top Nazi officials - including personal
documents belonging to Adolf Eich-
mann - that led him to rethink certain
But despite his apparent epiphany,
Irving, 67, maintained he had never
questioned the Holocaust.
"I've never been a Holocaust denier
and I get very angry when I'm called a
Holocaust denier," he said.
Irving's lawyer said he would appeal
"I consider the verdict a little too
stringent. I would say it's a bit of a mes-
sage trial," attorney Elmar Kresbach
State prosecutor Michael Klackl
declined to comment on the verdict. In
his closing arguments, however, he criti-
cized Irving for "putting on a show" and
for not admitting that the Nazis killed
Jews in an organized and systematic
Irving appeared shocked as the sen-
tence was read out. Moments later, an
elderly man identifying himself as a
family friend called out "Stay strong,
David! Stay strong!" before he was
escorted from the courtroom.
Irving has been in custody since
his November arrest on charges
stemming from two speeches he
gave in Austria in 1989 in which he
was accused of denying the Nazis'
extermination of 6 million Jews.
Irving, handcuffed and wearing a
navy blue suit, arrived at the court
carrying one of his most controversial
NEWS IN BRIEF v,
Coach checked into psych hospital
An Austrian ski coach who bolted the Winter Games following a surprise anti-
doping raid wound up in a psychiatric hospital - the latest stop on his bizarre flight
from Turin, where authorities were still analyzing 100 syringes and other material
seized from athletes' housing.
Authorities took Walter Mayer into custody Sunday after he crashed his car into a
police blockade 15 miles inside Austria's border with Italy. Police later took him to a
psychiatric facility, Austria's ski federation president Peter Schroecksnadel said.
"Apparently he's still in there," Schroecksnadel said last night. "I believe that there
was a danger of suicide - they had to take him to the hospital."
Mayer was banished from the Olympics over allegations of blood doping at the
2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. He resurfaced with the team in Turin, trigger-
ing police raids late Saturday - the first-ever doping sweep by police on athletes
competing at the games.
Against the backdrop of the most stringent drug controls in Winter Games history,
local authorities seized the syringes and 30 packages of antidepressants and asthma medi-
cation, Italian prosecutor Raffaele Guariniello told Austrian television. One Austrian ath-
lete threw a bag out of a window containing needles and medicines as police swarmed the
house, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.
Bin Laden vows to never be captured
Osama bin Laden promised never to be captured alive and declared the Unit-
ed States had resorted to the same "barbaric" tactics used by Saddam Hussein,
according to an audiotape purportedly by the al-Qaida leader that was posted yes-
terday on a militant Web site.
The tape appeared to be a complete version of one that was first broadcast Jan.
19 on Al-Jazeera, the pan-Arab satellite channel, in which bin Laden offered the
United States a long-term truce but also said his al-Qaida terror network would
soon launch a fresh attack on American soil.
"I have sworn to only live free. Even if I find bitter the taste of death, I don't want
to die humiliated or deceived," bin Laden said, in the 11-minute, 26-second tape.
U.S. warns Iraq to settle on government
The U.S. ambassador delivered a blunt warning to Iraqi leaders yesterday that
they risk losing American support unless they establish a national unity govern-
ment with the police and the army out of the hands of religious parties.
Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad delivered the warning as another 24 people,
including an American soldier, died in a string of bombings, underscoring the need
for the country to establish a government capable of winning the trust of all com-
munities and ending the violence.
Radio Shack CEO resigns after inquiry
RadioShack Corp.'s embattled president and CEO, David Edmondson, resigned
yesterday following questions about his resume's accuracy.
The Fort Worth electronics retailer said that its board accepted his resignation
and has promoted Claire Babrowski - executive vice president and chief operat-
ing officer - to acting CEO.
Leonard Roberts, RadioShack's chairman and Edmondson's predecessor as
CEO, said the move was necessary to restore the company's credibility.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
A story on yesterday's front page (Student dies in boarding accident)
misidentified the name of a church in Livonia as St. Andrew's. It should
have identified the church as St. Aidan's.
Please report any error in the Daily to corrections @michigandaily.coin.
Right-wing British historian David Irving holds his book "Hitler's War" when arriving at a court in Vienna, yesterday. Irving
is accused of denying the Holocaust and is facing up to 10 years in jail.
books - "Hitler's War," which chal-
lenges the extent of the Holocaust.
Throughout the day, Irving sat qui-
etly and attentively in the stifling court-
Irving's trial was held amid new
- and fierce - debate over freedom of
expression in Europe, where the print-
ing and reprinting of unflattering car-
toons of the Prophet Muhammad has
triggered violent protests worldwide.
"Of course it's a question of free-
dom of speech," Irving said. "The
law is an ass."
The court convicted Irving after his
guilty plea under the 1992 law, which
applies to "whoever denies, grossly
plays down, approves or tries to excuse
the National Socialist genocide or
other National Socialist crimes against
humanity in a print publication, in
broadcast or other media."
Austria was Hitler's birthplace and
once was run by the Nazis.
"He is everything but a historian ...
He is a dangerous falsifier of history,"
Klackl said, calling Irving's statements
an "abuse of freedom of speech."
Klackl said the Austrian law does not
"hinder historical works."
"You have to look at each case indi-
vidually," he said. "The point is, what is
someone trying to do? It's the intent."
Kresbach, however, said people
"should have a right to be wrong"
The verdict was welcomed by the
Simon Wiesenthal Center, which
also highlighted the issue of free-
dom of speech.
"While Irving's rants would not have
led to legal action in the United States,
it is important that we recognize and
respect Austria's commitment to fight-
ing Holocaust denial, the most odious
form of hatred, as part of its historic
responsibility to its Nazi past," the
center's associate dean, Rabbi Abraham
Cooper, said in a statement.
Kresbach said last month the con-
troversial Third Reich historian was
getting up to 300 pieces of fan mail
a week from supporters around the
world and was writing his memoirs
in detention under the working title
Irving was arrested Nov. 11 in the
southern Austrian province of Sty-
ria on a warrant issued in 1989. He
| ATTENTION FRESHMEN, SOPHOMORES, AND JUNIORS
tried to win his provisional release
on $24,000 bail, but a Vienna court
rejected the motion, saying it con-
sidered him a flight risk.
Within two weeks of his arrest, he
asserted through his lawyer that he
had come to acknowledge the exis-
tence of Nazi-era gas chambers.
However, he has claimed previ-
ously that Adolf Hitler knew little
if anything about the Holocaust, and
he has been quoted as saying there
was "not one shred of evidence" the
Nazis carried out their "Final Solu-
tion" to exterminate the Jewish pop-
ulation on such a massive scale.
Irving, the author of nearly 30
books, has contended most of those
who died at concentration camps
such as Auschwitz succumbed to
diseases such as typhus rathe than
In 2000, Irving sued American
Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt
for libel in a British court, but lost.
The presiding judge in that case,
Charles Gray, wrote that Irving was
"an active Holocaust denier ... anti-
Semitic and racist."
sustaining hope for
survivors at buried school
GUINSAUGON, Philippines (AP)
- Rescue workers refused to give up
hope of finding survivors in an ele-
mentary school buried by up to 100
feet of mud, digging into the night
day after detecting what the provin-
cial governor called "signs of life."
Sounds of scratching and a rhythmic
tapping were picked up by seismic sen-
sors and sound-detection gear brought
in by U.S. and Malaysian forces.
"To me, that's more than enough
reason to smile and be happy," South
Leyte Gov. Rosette Lerias said. "The
adrenaline is high ... now that we
have seen increasing signs of.life."
Still, it was hard to imagine survivors
under the wet muck nearly four days
after a mountainside collapsed and cov-
ered the farming village of Guinsaugon,
killing up to 1,000 people. No one has
been pulled out alive since just a few
hours after the disaster Friday morning.
The search has focused on the
school because of unconfirmed
reports that some of the 250-300
children and teachers may have sent
cell phone text messages to relatives
soon after the disaster Friday.
Under the glare of generator-powered
lights, a multinational group of troops
and technicians used high-tech gear like
seismic sensors and sound- and heat-
detection equipment alongside shovels
and rescue dogs. They finally halted
about 3 a.m. today until daybreak.
A U.S. military spokesman said late
yesterday that U.S. Marines digging at the
site had found bodies, but no survivors.
"I asked had they received or found
any type of survivors, and the answer was
(be firbidguu ulg
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