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Top German court throws out elderly neo-Nazi’s appeal

August 3, 2018
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In this Nov. 23, 2017 photo Ursula Haverbeck, accused of hate speech, enters the court room of the District Court in Detmold, Germany. Germany’s highest court has thrown out a notorious elderly neo-Nazi’s case against her conviction for Holocaust denial, ruling that her activities are not covered by a constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression. (Bernd Thissen/dpa via AP, file)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s highest court has thrown out a notorious elderly neo-Nazi’s case against her conviction for Holocaust denial, ruling that her activities are not covered by a constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression.

In May, 89-year-old Ursula Haverbeck was taken to prison to begin serving a two-year sentence for incitement handed down last year by a court in Verden.

Haverbeck has repeatedly said the Auschwitz death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland was just a work camp. She has been convicted several times but long avoided prison due to lengthy appeals.

The Federal Constitutional Court said in a ruling released Friday that knowingly spreading proven falsehoods “cannot contribute to forming opinions and as such is not covered by the freedom of opinion.” It found that denying the Nazi genocide constitutes “disturbing the public peace.”

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