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article imageGermany fines British Bishop for partial denial of Nazi Holocaust

By Igor I. Solar     Apr 16, 2010 in Crime
Regensburg - A German court in the Bavarian city of Regensburg sentenced the ultra-conservative Catholic Bishop Richard Williamson for partially denying the Holocaust in a television interview.
Bishop Williamson was found guilty and sentenced to a fine of 10,000 euros (US$ 13,500) for saying in an interview with Swedish television in 2007 that he did not believe gas chambers had been used as a method of mass-execution to kill Jews during World War II. He argued that only "200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps". In the interview Williamson said:
"Historical evidence is hugely against six million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler."
Holocaust denial is a criminal offense in Germany. Williamson had asked the Swedish TV station to ensure that the interview was never shown in Germany. "Be careful, this is against the law in Germany" he said to the interviewer. Williamson’s defense lawyer Matthias Lossmann argued in court that his client was told that the interview would be aired only in Sweden. The court ruled that Bishop Williamson was subject to German law nonetheless, since he was in Germany at the time the interview was recorded.
The maximum sentence for Holocaust denial in Germany is five years in prison. However, during the course of the trial it was anticipated that a fine would be the most likely outcome in the case of a guilty verdict. Lossmann said after the court ruling that Williamson has yet to decide whether he will appeal.
Williamson served from 2003 to 2009 as director of the seminary of the Saint Pius X Society in La Reja, not far from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He had been removed from the post on February 2009 as a result of the controversy sparked by his sayings.
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