Holocaust 'Denier' Germar
Rudolf's Trial Begins


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.



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