Suspected Holocaust denier David Irving to remain in prison

By Haaretz Service and the Associated Press


Cheshvan 24, 5766

The controversial British historian David Irving, accused of denying the Holocaust, will not be released into house arrest, an Austrian court ruled on Friday.

Irving was arrested by Austrian police on November 11 in the southern Austrian province of Styria. He was transferred to a prison in Graz.

Irving was detained on a warrant issued in 1989 under Austrian laws that make Holocaust denial a crime. The charges stemmed from speeches Irving delivered that year in Vienna and in the southern town of Leoben.

Irving in the past has faced allegations of spreading anti-Semitic and racist ideas. He is the author of nearly 30 books, including "Hitler's War," which challenges the extent of the Holocaust.

He remained in custody Thursday, the Austria Press Agency said. Calls to the Graz court to confirm the report went unanswered late Thursday afternoon.

If formally charged, tried and convicted on the charge, Irving could face up to 20 years in prison, said Otto Schneider of the public prosecutor's office. But he said it was unclear whether there were sufficient legal grounds to continue holding Irving on such a charge so many years after the alleged offense was committed. A decision was expected by the end of next week on how to proceed, Schneider said.