Saturday, January 05, 2013
Bishop Williamson back in court
Bishop Richard Williamson of the ultra-conservative SSPX must on 16 January again stand trial for race hatred before the Regensburg Regional Court, a spokesman for the Justice Ministry has announced.
The process is initially scheduled to last two days. A second trial date and expected date of the judgment is 22 January. The prosecutor alleges that the 72-year-old Williamson denied the Holocaust in an interview with a Swedish television. The SSPX has now expelled Williamson.
The interview was held on 1 November 2008 recorded in the seminary of the SSPX at Zaitzkofen near Regensburg and was aired on 21 January 2009. On the same day, the Vatican lifted the excommunication of the four bishops of the SSPX.
After broadcasting the interview Williamson was initially convicted of racial hatred and fined several thousand euros. This court decision, which was confirmed by two appeal courts, was lifted by the the Upper Regional Court in Nürnberg on a technicality. Then the prosecutor sought a new arrest warrant with a fine of 100 euros per day. Williamson's lawyer objected to this penalty, so now the court case will be on 16 January.
At the main trial, the investigating police officers and the Swedish journalists will be heard as witnesses. The personal appearance of Williamson is not necessary, according to the court. Also in the prior proceedings, the bishop has never participated personally.