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Turks convicted of denying Armenian genocide

A Swiss district court has found three Turkish defendants guilty of denying the Armenian holocaust during the Ottoman Empire 90 years ago.

They were ordered to pay up to SFr6,500 ($5,630) each for violating Swiss anti-racism legislation, but part of the fine was suspended over three years according to a statement by the Winterthur court on Tuesday.

The defence lawyer said he would appeal the verdict, although it is milder than the sentence demanded by the prosecutor.

Last year the leader of Turkish Workers' Party, Doğu Perinçek, was ordered to pay a fine of SFr13,000 for a similar offence. During a visit to western Switzerland he publicly denied that the killing of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Armenians amounted to genocide.

The case caused diplomatic tensions between Switzerland and Turkey. However, both countries recently decided to forge closer ties following a visit by the Turkish foreign minister to Switzerland.