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French Editor Jailed For "Questioning" Holocaust
Plantin, editor of Akribeia magazine was fined and jailed for questioning Holocaust
Additional reporting By Hadi Yahmad, IOL Paris Correspondent
PARIS, June 26 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) - An appeals court on Wednesday, June 25, upheld the six-month prison sentence of an editor who published works that called into question the scope of the Jewish Holocaust.
Jean Plantin, editor of a magazine called Akribeia, the Greek word for "exactitude", was fined and given the sentence by a Lyon court for "doubting the occurrence of some crimes against humanity", when it was "discovered" that Plantin had been awarded a Masters' degree by the University of Lyon for a thesis which, in fact, denied the Holocaust.
The lawyer for publisher Jean Plantin said he will appeal the decision to a higher court.
A lower court found Plantin guilty in June 2000 and gave him a six-month suspended sentence for publishing materials challenging some aspects of the Holocaust, including the use of gas chambers to kill vast numbers of Jews during the war. The court also ordered Plantin to stop his activities.
But prosecutors say Plantin continued to publish similar works, thus violating a condition of his suspended sentence. A court in January 2003 revoked the suspension, a ruling that was upheld on appeal Wednesday.
"The verdict of the court was fair, regarding the lengthy administrative procedures. Furthermore, Plantin did not attempt along past years to back off from his writings that doubt the authenticity of Nazi's crimes against humanity," Michel Dory, an official of S.O.S. Racism, one of the organizations that sued Plantin, told IslamOnline.net.
"It is unfortunate that the writer did not back off. On the contrary, he issued Akribeia magazine, through which he decided to take revenge of the souls of Nazi's victims, which is unacceptable," Dory added.
The verdict followed a lawsuit filed by an organization called "Mark Bloch" Cycle that considered Plantin's thesis "questioning" that the crimes perpetrated by Nazis against the Jews ever took place.
The court deprived Plantin from his masters degree in 2000 and from his doctorate degree in 2001, as it focused, according to the court, on Paul Rassinier, a figure known for questioning the reality of the Nazi's crimes.
However, Planton went on doubting the crimes perpetrated by the Nazis through issuing Akribeia magazine that was keen to search historical events and review the history of Holocaust; a matter that fuelled some organizations to sue him.
Akribeia is a scholarly French-language revisionist journal, edited by Jean Plantin. The twice-yearly periodical of some 235-240 pages explores "history, rumors and legends."
The Plantin Affair
On 13 January 1999, Plantin was arrested at his home and taken to a police station in Lyon, France where, for 24 hours, he was subjected to ignominious treatment. Then, back at his house, he saw his two computers and the disks containing his archives seized by French police, who also turned his collection of books and documents upside down, said The Campaign for Radical Truth in History website.
Some journalists then set about launching "the Plantin affair", revealing that Jean Plantin had in 1990 obtained a master's degree in history for his paper entitled, "Paul Rassinier (1906-1967), socialiste, pacifiste et revisionniste" ("Socialist, Pacifist and Revisionist").
In the following year he earned the prestigious "diplome d'師udes approfondies" ("diploma of advanced studies", known as the "DEA"), with his thesis, "Les Epid士ies de typhus dans les camps de concentration nazis" ("The Typhus Epidemics in the Nazi Concentration Camps").
Neither of the two works exhibited a revisionist character. But suddenly, in 1999, certain organizations, particularly Jewish ones, have made it known that they consider that fact to be immaterial and that two professors who supervised J. Plantin's work, were guilty of revisionism (of "negationism", as they derisively term it), the website said.
At first, the professors who were implicated, R使is Ladous and Yves Lequin, protested their good faith. Fallen prey to panic, both dodged their responsibilities. R. Ladous, for his part, went so far as to say that, if he had graded Plantin's thesis as "Tr峻 bien" (very good), it was only to show his scorn for a job which, in his eyes, was, it seems, "grotesque", it added.
Then, the professors spontaneously tendered their resignations from their posts as overseers of the "DEA" studies program. These resignations were immediately accepted by the presidents of their respective universities.
The judges of the Lyon court were to deliberate for five weeks before handing down their verdict of guilty. The computers and archives on disks seized at his house have been apparently permanently confiscated.