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British historian pleads guilty in Austria to denying Holocaust

[JURIST] British historian David Irving [BBC profile, personal website] has pleaded guilty before an Austrian criminal court to charges [JURIST report] of denying the World War II Holocaust [BBC backgrounder]. Irving, 68, was arrested in Austria [JURIST report] in November pursuant to a 1989 warrant based on two speeches in which he denied the Nazis' use of gas chambers. Denial of the Holocaust is a crime in Austria, and Irving could face up to 10 years in prison.

Irving appeared before the court with a copy of his 1977 best-selling account of World War II, Hitler's War, in which he contended that the Holocaust executions were carried out without Hitler's knowledge according to orders of his underlings. He told reporters that he has changed his mind, claiming "I have learned a lot since 1989." Irving faces up to ten years in prison. BBC News has more.

12:57 PM ET - BBC News is reporting that Irving has been sentenced to three years in jail.

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