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UK historian to appeal jail sentence for denying Holocaust

[JURIST] British historian David Irving [BBC profile, personal website] has said he will appeal the three-year sentence he received after pleading guilty [JURIST report] Monday to charges of denying the Holocaust [JURIST report]. Irving was charged in connection to two speeches he gave in Austria in 1989, in which he denied that Nazis used gas chambers at Auschwitz during the World War II Holocaust [BBC backgrounder]. Irving admitted to making the statements, but said that he has since changed his mind.

Irving and his lawyer say they will appeal the three year sentence, referring to the sentence as a battle of censorship and saying it is too stringent for comments that he made years ago. Austrian prosecutors also filed an appeal [Reuters report] Tuesday, asking the appeals court to lengthen Irving's sentence. Prosecutors say that Irving pretended to change his views in order to avoid a lengthy sentence. Austria is one of eleven countries which have laws against denying the existence of the Holocaust. BBC News has more.

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