German court sentences Ernst Zundel to 5 years in prison for Holocaust denial
MANNHEIM, Germany (CP) — Far-right activist Ernst Zundel was convicted of 14 counts of incitement Thursday for Holocaust denial and sentenced to the maximum five years in prison, a sentence quickly applauded by Canadian Jewish groups.
Zundel and his supporters have argued that he is a peaceful campaigner who has been denied his right to free speech.
Zundel was born in Germany in 1939. He immigrated to Canada in 1958 and lived in Toronto and Montreal until 2001. Canadian officials rejected his attempts to obtain citizenship in 1966 and 1994.
He then moved to Tennessee, where he married fellow extremist Ingrid Rimland, but was deported to Canada in 2003 for alleged immigration violations.
Upon arrival in Toronto, Zundel was arrested and held in detention until a judge ruled in March 2005 that his activities posed a threat to national and international security, and he was deported to Germany.
Zundel has been standing trial in Germany since November of last year in what were, at times, raucous proceedings.
In his own closing arguments, prosecutor Andreas Grossmann called Zundel a “political con man” from whom the German people must be protected.
11:48 on February 15, 2007, EST.