German neo-Nazi who fled to avoid prison arrested in Hungary

AP News
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Posted: May 15, 2017 8:22 AM
German neo-Nazi who fled to avoid prison arrested in Hungary

BERLIN (AP) — A notorious German neo-Nazi has been arrested in Hungary, where he had been seeking asylum after fleeing to avoid serving a prison sentence for Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic incitement, Munich prosecutors said Monday.

Hungary informed German prosecutors that Horst Mahler had been arrested, said Ken Heidenreich, a spokesman for Munich prosecutors. He did not elaborate further.

Mahler, 81, was a founding member of the left-wing Red Army Faction militant group who later turned to the far-right and has had numerous neo-Nazi related convictions.

In addition, a court in Mainz in 2003 found Mahler guilty of condoning a crime for saying that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States were justified and fined him several thousand euros (dollars).

He was also convicted in the mid-1970s for Red Army Faction-related activities — including several bank robberies and for helping notorious terrorist Andreas Baader, another founding member of the group, to escape from jail.

He was serving a 10-year sentence for Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic incitement when a court ruled two years ago that he could leave prison due to serious illness. He was ordered to return to prison late last year, but he refused and fled the country.

The Mitteldeutsche Zeitung newspaper on Monday published a letter from Mahler saying he was asking "the leader of the Hungarian nation, Viktor Orban, to grant me asylum as someone who is being politically persecuted."

Heidenreich said it was not yet clear when Mahler would be extradited back to Germany to complete his sentence.