Spiritual leader on trial for race hatred
23 March 2006, BRUSSELS — Controversial Wallonian spiritual leader 'Père Samuel' was issued a court order on Thursday summonsing him to stand trial in Charleroi Court on charges of inciting race hatred.
23 March 2006
BRUSSELS — Controversial Wallonian spiritual leader 'Père Samuel' was issued a court order on Thursday summonsing him to stand trial in Charleroi Court on charges of inciting race hatred.
Père Samuel has been locked in a feud with the Tournai (Doornik) diocese for years over his traditionalist opinions.
A complaint was also lodged against him at the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism. He is alleged to have incited race hatred via several statements and the spreading of various documents in 2002.
Thursday's court hearing in Charleroi in which Samuel was ordered to stand trial was brief. Père Samuel attended the hearing with three of his lawyers, the Brussels-based Michel Graindorge and François Londa Sengi and Charleroi-based Michel Hubert.
Dozens of his followers gathered in the hallway outside the court chambers and Père Samuel repeated his earlier statement, "that the future children of Islam are bombs for Western children".
Lawyer Graindorge said the trial at Charleroi Court will be "magnificent and fascinating" hearing, newspaper 'Het Nieuwsblad' reported.
Père Samuel — whose original name is Samuel Ozdemir — was previously the ministser at Gosselies (near Charleroi) until he was suspended by the Tournai bishopric.
In 2001, he bought the Saint-Antoine-de-Padoue Church in Montignies-sur-Sambre. In Wallonia, he is known as a "curer" and an exorcist.
He also said earlier this month in a televised debate with anti-racism bureau MRAX on Francophone broadcaster RTL-TVI that Islam in Europe is "the Nazism of tomorrow".
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news