28 January 2010
A court in Germany has summoned the Catholic Bishop Richard Williamson to attend a trial in April where he is to face charges of incitement for his belittling of the Holocaust, which is a crime in Germany. In comments broadcast on Swedish television in January 2009, Williamson said he believed no more than 300,000 Jews had perished in the Holocaust and that there had been no gas chambers.
The district court in the Bavarian city of Regensburg has set a hearing for 16 April, because Williamson refused to pay a fine of € 12,000 handed down last year. The court has ordered the 69-year-old bishop of the ultra-conservative Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), to face questioning in person.
Although authorities cannot force him to attend, if Williamson is not represented at the hearing, then the appeal against the fine would be thrown out, a court spokesman said. "Then the fine becomes legally binding," he said.
Williamson's remarks were recorded near Regensburg, within the court's jurisdiction.
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