17 Apr 2010

Bishop fined for denying the Holocaust

8:32 pm on 17 April 2010

A court in Germany has fined a renegade British Catholic bishop 10,000 euros for denying the Holocaust.

Richard Williamson, 70, from London, said in a television interview last year that he did not believe the Nazis had used gas chambers to kill Jews.

Mr Williamson, who was not in court, acknowledged the offending comments in a statement read in the court in Regensburg.

In the interview, broadcast in January 2009, he also said that only 200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps.

Denying that the Holocaust took place, or questioning key elements of it, is illegal in Germany.

The bishop was previously fined 12,000 euros for giving the interview in Germany to a Swedish broadcaster.

The latest trial was ordered after Williamson, who lives in London, refused to pay the fine. A defence lawyer told the court that the bishop had been told the interview would be broadcast only in Sweden.

The BBC reports the case has acutely embarrassed the Vatican.