Holocaust-Denying Bishop Faces Hefty Fine

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Denying the Holocaust can be expensive. That, at least, could be the lesson facing Bishop Richard Williamson, the ultra-conservative Catholic cleric who plunged the Vatican into crisis in January by telling Swedish television that he believed "there were no gas chambers."

Last week, public prosecutors in the southern German city of Regensburg, where Williamson was when he filmed the interview, have formally requested that the bishop be fined €12,000 ($17,860) for incitement. Denying the Holocaust is against the law in Germany. The presiding court is expected to make a decision this week.

Williamson, for his part, doubts that such a penalty is in conformity with German law. He told SPIEGEL that he can only be fined if he gave his approval for the interview to be shown in Germany. Williamson, though, claims he "tried to prevent the broadcast of my interview with Swedish television in Germany by way of the Internet." Indeed, in early January, he filed a motion to prevent his interview from landing in the Internet, but it was rejected in court.

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