British Holocaust-denial bishop says reporter duped him

4th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Lawyers for renegade British bishop Richard Williamson told a German court on Monday their client was duped by a Swedish reporter into making Holocaust denying statements.

Williamson, 71, who was not in court, was appealing his conviction by a court in Regensburg, southern Germany, for denying key facts about the Holocaust in an interview he gave to Swedish television in Regensburg in 2008.

The bishop was told the interview would be aired only in Sweden, his lawyers Edgar and Benjamin Weiler told the court.

"The accused was duped over the purpose of the interview," they said.

They did not deny the statements made by the bishop, a member of the breakaway ultra-conservative Catholic fraternity the Saint Pius X Society, but stressed that in Sweden such opinions could be freely voiced.

In Germany it is an offence to deny that the Nazis murdered six million Jews during World War II.

In April 2010, Williamson, who now lives in London, was fined 10,000 euros ($14,500) by the court, reduced from an earlier fine of 12,000 euros he had refused to pay, for inciting racial hatred.

He told Swedish television that "200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps" and disputed the existence of the gas chambers.

© 2011 AFP

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