Belgian Holocaust denier to face trial in Germany
26 October 2005
BRUSSELS – Belgian Holocaust denier Siegfried Verbeke is to face trial in Germany for claiming the Nazis did not murder six million Jews.
On Wednesday, Le Soir reported that a court in Amsterdam had agreed to extradite Verbeke, who comes from Kortrijk in Flanders. He was arrested at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam in August and charged with racism and xenophobia and of spreading negationist opinions on the internet.
Germany had already asked Belgium to extradite Verbeke last year, but a Belgian judge refused the request.
In his home country Verbeke has already been convicted of Holocaust denial. The appeals court in Antwerp sentenced him in April to a maximum one-year jail term and a EUR 2,500 fine for breaching negationist and anti-racism laws.
Verbeke also faced similar allegations in the Netherlands, but Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner put the charges on ice, on condition that Verbeke was sent to trial in Germany.
The 63-year-old Verbeke has been the head of the Free Historical Research centre (VHO) since 1983. The centre publishes books in which the Holocaust is denied or downplayed.
Verbeke, who has become a well-known figure across Europe, has used the principle of freedom of speech to defend himself in the past, and is reported to hold links with various extreme-rights groups across the continent.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news