German neo-Nazi's Holocaust denial sentence upheld

Associated Press/August 11, 2009

Berlin - A German federal court on Tuesday upheld the Holocaust denial conviction of a founding member of a left-wing terrorist group turned neo-Nazi, saying he must serve his six-year sentence.

The Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe threw out Horst Mahler's appeal of the Munich state court ruling made in February.

Mahler, a founder of the Red Army Faction in 1970, was convicted of incitement for posting videos denying the Holocaust on the Internet and distributing CDs promoting anti-Jewish hatred and violence. Denial of the Nazi Holocaust is a crime in Germany.

It was the latest in a string of neo-Nazi-related convictions for Mahler, a lawyer. In addition, a court in Mainz in 2003 found Mahler guilty of condoning a crime for saying the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States were justified and fined him several thousand euros (dollars).

He was also convicted in the mid-1970s for Red Army Faction-related activities - including several bank robberies and for helping notorious terrorist Andreas Baader, another founding member of the group, to escape from jail.

He was sentenced to 14 years in prison but was released in 1980 after he made several public statements condemning terrorism and Red Army Faction methods.

Mahler was a member of the far-right National Democratic Party from 2000 to 2003, and acted as its attorney.

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