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Man convicted of Holocaust denial in the Czech Republic for web content on US server

Prague, 5.5.2011 21:09, (ROMEA)

The Prague-West District Court (Okresní soud pro Prahu - západ ) found Czech-Canadian Vladimír Stwora guilty of supporting and promoting a movement aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms and sentenced him to a six-month prison sentence, suspended for a probation period of two years. The prosecution charged the man with publishing a Czech translation of an article denying the Holocaust on his website. Stwora insists he is innocent and claims he just wanted to prompt a discussion by publishing the article. The verdict has not yet taken effect, the Czech Press Agency reports. A first-instance court acquitted Stwora twice before, but the appeals court overturned those verdicts and returned the case to the lower level to be reheard.

The case concerns the Czech translation of an article entitled "The Four Million Version of the Holocaust" by a D. Cassidy. According to the case file, Stwora published the text on his web page in July 2007. The prosecution said the article casts doubt on whether the Nazi genocide of Jewish people during WWII ever took place by questioning the number of victims and the question of whether the death camps and gas chambers really existed.

The prosecutor drew attention to the following claim from the article: "In reality there is no proof that poisonous gas, gas chambers or gas ovens were used in any death camp." The prosecution said Stwora published the text with the intention of disputing "the essence and extent of the Nazi genocide against Jewish people during WWII", the Czech Press Agency reports.

Stwora has repeatedly rejected the charges. In the past he has pointed out that he is not the author of the article, nor its translator, and has claimed to disagree with the content of the text. He told the court that he published the article in Canada and that the web server on which his website is located is housed in the USA and that what he did was not a crime in those countries.

František Bikár, ČTK, Gwendolyn Albert, Czech Press Agency, brf, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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