Judge who freed Holocaust denier Irving has close ties to far-rightist Haider

By Amiram Barkat

Haaretz

Kislev 30, 5767

The Austrian judge who ruled in favor of the early release of British Holocaust denier David Irving from jail is considered to be a supporter of Jorg Heider's rightist Austrian Freedom Party, the Austrian news agency APA reported on Wednesday.

When Haider's party was a coalition member, judge Ernest Mauer was appointed as member of the Austrian Broadcasting authority Osterriechischer Rudfunk.

The controversial historian was set to leave Austria after winning an appeal on Wednesday against a three-year prison sentence for denying the Holocaust, his lawyer said.

Following his conviction in February for denying the Nazis' organized the mass murder of 6 million Jews, Irving had appealed for a reduced sentence while the prosecutor wanted a longer one.

Irving has been in jail since his arrest in November 2005 on a visit to Austria, which was part of Germany's Third Reich from 1938 to 1945.

The Vienna court ruled his sentence should be changed from a jail term to probation and that Irving was free to leave.

"He is free, and he can leave, and he will leave," said his lawyer Herbert Schaller.

Austria had issued an arrest warrant for Irving in 1989 for denying the Holocaust in lectures and in a press interview he gave the same year.

Denying the Holocaust in Austria, which provided a significant number of top Nazi leaders including Adolf Hitler, is a crime punishable by up to 10years in prison.