An Austrian writer accused of denying the Holocaust and promoting aspects of the Nazi era has gone on trial in Vienna. If found guilty, he could face up to 20 years in prison.
Hitler in Vienna: Holocaust denial is a crime in Austria
Gerd Honsik, 68, had already been sentenced to 18 months in prison in 1992 for propagating Holocaust denial in his book "Acquittal for Hitler?" However, he fled to Spain during his appeal and spent 15 years there before being extradited to Austria in 2007.
He now faces new charges for articles he allegedly wrote and circulated on the Internet.
The opening of his trial coincided with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's 120th birthday - a fact that was not lost on the prosecution.
"One hundred and twenty years after Hitler's birth, there are still people denying his atrocities," prosecutor Stefan Apostol was quoted by national news agency APA as saying in his opening statement. "That's not just sad, it's dangerous."
Honsik pleaded innocent to the charges, saying he had no idea he was committing an offence when he disputed the existence of the Nazi gas chambers in his magazine, "Halt," in 1994. His lawyer, Herbert Schaller, also said that the existence of the gas chambers was "just the prevailing view" and called for relevant evidence to be presented.
Spain had twice rejected calls to extradite Honsik, saying Holocaust denial and neo-Nazi propaganda are not illegal in that country. He was finally extradited after two Europe-wide arrest warrants were issued at Austria's behest.
A German newspaper has reported that the European Commission will take legal action against Germany over its planned road toll. The report says the toll is considered to discriminate against foreigners.
An asylum seeker lying in vomit has his head pinned down by a guard's boots: that image from a refugee center in the German town of Burbach sent shockwaves throughout the country. Fortunately, much has changed.
Russia has published a blacklist of 89 European Union politicians and military leaders banned from the country. The move is said to be in response to EU sanctions placed on Moscow over Crimea and Ukraine.
The immense success of writers such as Richard David Precht, festivals of ideas and philosophy magazines is has made thinking hip again. But is this legitimate philosophy, or more a lifestyle trend?