- BERLIN (Reuters) - A German
accused of denying the Holocaust and using the Internet to spread his views
went on trial on Tuesday after being deported from the United States.
- The 42-year-old chemist, Germar Rudolf, is accused of
denying and belittling the wartime extermination of Jews by Germany's Nazi
regime. Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany which can carry a prison
sentence of up to 5 years.
- Rudolf, who was found guilty on similar charges in the
mid-1990s, claims the court in Mannheim, western Germany, has no jurisdiction
to judge the accuracy of historical events.
- "No court has the right to decide authoritatively
on complex historical matters," Rudolf told the court, which is also
hearing a similar case against Ernst Zuendel, a prominent alleged Holocaust
denier extradited from Canada.
- State prosecutor Andreas Grossmann told the court Rudolf
had claimed on Web sites that Hitler's Nazi party had never given an order
for the persecution of Jews and that the victims of concentration camps
had died of starvation and typhoid.
- Rudolf also published a book in 2005 supporting these
views, the prosecutor said, adding his office was seeking to confiscate
around 110,000 euros ($141,000) in income Rudolf received from 2001-2004
through the sale of illegal materials.
- Rudolf fled Germany after being found guilty in the mid-1990s
of inciting racial hatred. After spending time in Spain and Britain, he
landed in the United States which deported him a year ago to serve his
original jail sentence of 14 months.
- Sentencing in the second trial is expected by the end
of January, 2007.