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heeeeeeeeeeeeeere's david

Herbie von Smalls

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An Austrian court has ruled that UK historian David Irving - jailed for denying the Holocaust - should be released on probation.

The court had heard calls for both a reduction and increase in the three-year sentence.


Irving, 68, was jailed in February in a case that sparked international debate about the limits of freedom of speech.


In 1989 he spoke in Austria denying the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz, though he later said he was "mistaken".


Intense debate


The BBC's Kerry Skyring in Vienna says the sentence has been converted to one year in jail and two years suspended.


The conditions of the probation are not yet known, including whether Irving will be able to leave Austria.


But his lawyer, Herbert Schaller, said: "He is free, and he can leave, and he will leave."


Both the prosecution and defence had challenged the length of the sentence. The crime carries a prison term of up to 10 years.


The 1992 law targets "whoever denies, grossly plays down, approves or tries to excuse the National Socialist genocide".


Irving was arrested in November last year on a motorway in southern Austria. He was visiting to give a lecture to a far-right student fraternity.


The conviction had sparked intense debate with supporters saying it was fully justified but opponents arguing it undermined the right of freedom of speech.


At the initial trial, Irving had said it was "ridiculous" he was being tried for expressing an opinion and that he had changed his views on the Holocaust.

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