Germany sets date for British Holocaust-denial priest appeal

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Renegade British bishop Richard Williamson's appeal against his German conviction for Holocaust denial will be held on November 29, his lawyer said on Friday.

Williamson, 70, was found guilty of inciting racial hatred by a court in Regensburg, southern Germany in April and fined 10,000 euros (13,100 dollars), reduced from an earlier fine of 12,000 euros he had refused to pay.

The bishop, a member of the breakaway ultra-conservative Catholic fraternity the Saint Pius X Society, questioned key facts about the Holocaust in a Swedish television interview recorded in Regensburg in 2008.

He appealed the ruling, and unlike the previous trial, when the fraternity forbade him from attending, he will most likely appear in person at the hearing in Regensburg, his lawyer Matthias Lossmann said.

"It is not yet completely clear but I don't think that the Saint Pius X fraternity will stop him coming this time," Lossmann told AFP.

Pope Benedict XVI unleashed a deluge of criticism last year for reversing the excommunication of Williamson and three other Saint Pius X Society bishops in a bid to bridge the rift with the fraternity.

Williamson said in the television interview aired in January 2009 that only "200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps" and disputed the existence of the gas chambers.

© 2010 AFP

3 Comments To This Article

  • Mannstein posted:

    on 7th October 2010, 03:33:06 - Reply

    If a defense lawyer in a holocaust trial in a German court puts on too vigorous a defense on behalf of his or her client the State prosecutor threatens the lawyer with criminal charges. Such tactics were used during the Stalinist show trials of the 1930s.
  • Amy Aremia posted:

    on 27th September 2010, 16:28:29 - Reply

    Holding trials against those who question certain facts about the Holocaust should not be made criminals without a truly historian/revisionist chance to discuss the facts, as is the usual proceedure of historical events that become quesrionable and left for debate.

    I had read the first report that Bishop Williamson claimed there were only 365,000 deaths... My memory serves me of an article that appeared on the papers after the Berlin Wall came tumbling down where West Germany, in clearing up East Germany found records showing that same exact figure, including others besides Jews who had perished.
    It is time to put aside such actions which only take up legal and court fees because Israel wants it to be a crime should anyone question their facts which they consider to be in historical archives of events...

    Should this be allowed to go on? In the future, anyone can have historical records changed to their this the legacy that should be left to future generations who seek to learn from past events???

    Now that 87 countries have signed an agreement with Israel as what to teach about the Holocaust, fight "anti-semitism" under their "Hate Crime Law" is a fearful step to removing freedom of speech, thought, or to question. And a giant step towards world control under the NOW (New World Order).

    Let us not forget that 58 million died in World War Two. If the Germans spent all the time written of how they collected 6 million Jews in Eastern Europe,who then, fought for Gemrany in that war?

    No country is above exemption from International Laws----and signing of treaties certainly takes away from the sovereignity of any independent nation...

  • Koldo posted:

    on 17th September 2010, 19:19:52 - Reply

    Bishop Williamson is absolutely correct. The problem is that the German judges are known for being universally unfair, when they deal with holacaust related issues concerning the jews; The murders of German soldiers after WWII in the allies concentration camps are not important to them, the same with the genocide of German civilians in Dresden, etc..
    Bishop Williamson has a big support outside Germany, because a person of his intellectual capacity doesn't speak to show-off, but because he know about it. Let's see if the German judges allow him to have the proper defense.