Austrian court bars Holocaust denier Irving from speaking with press

By The Associated Press

Haaretz

Adar 7, 5766

Right-wing British historian David Irving, who was convicted by an Austrian court of denying the Holocaust, has been barred from speaking with the press, a court spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Since a Vienna state court found Irving guilty last month and sentenced him to three years in prison, he has spoken to several news organizations, including The Associated Press. Alexandra Mathes, spokeswoman for the court, said it was unusual for a judge to grant reporters the right to interview a convict in the first place, but because media interest in Irving was so large, an exception was made.

That right was revoked Monday, after Irving said "certain things" to media that could be grounds for him to face fresh charges, Mathes said. She declined to give examples.

In a joint interview with the Vienna daily Die Presse and the Austrian Press Agency last week, Irving likened Austria to a "Nazi state" and criticized the country's strict laws against denying the Holocaust law as "ridiculous."

During a jailhouse interview with The Associated Press on Feb. 23 Irving said that he had erred 17 years ago in contending there were no gas chambers at the Auschwitz concentration camp, calling it a mistake in "methodology." He also said that he accepted that millions of Jews died during World War II. However, Irving refused to use the word Holocaust, describing it as a concept that "became cleverly marketed, like Tylenol."

The 67-year-old historian has been in Austrian custody since his arrest in November 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.

Both the defense and the prosecution have appealed the three-year sentence.