Last fall, Reuters reported that Poland's Supreme Court ruled that BEHEMOTH's Adam "Nergal" Darski, committed a crime when when he called the Catholic Church "the most murderous cult on the planet" during a concert that took place in September 2007 in Gdynia and tore up a copy of the Bible, calling it "a book of lies." It was then announced that a lower court would decide if Darski is guilty of the crime. If convicted, Darski could spend two years in jail!
Following the first trial that took place yesterday (January 8), according to Polskie Radio, Darski faces a second trial because of the ridiculous charge mentioned above. A district court in Gdansk overruled an earlier judgment that Darski was expressing artistic freedom during the concert.
Video footage of today's ruling can be seen below (courtesy of Blabbermouth.net).
The European Commission last fall said that Poland's prosecution of Darski for "blasphemy" is against European values.
"[The decision] is negative and restricts the freedom of speech. The court decided that this is allowed in a democratic system," Jacek Potulski, a lawyer for Darski, told Reuters. "We are still arguing that we were dealing with art, which allows more critical and radical statements."
Back in August 2011, a Polish judge ruled that Darski's ripping up of a Bible during a show was a form of artistic expression consistent with the style of his band. Judge Krzysztof Wieckowski said he considered Darski's actions "a form of art." He added that the court had no intention of limiting freedom of expression or the right to criticize religion.
Ryszard Nowak, chairman of the privately run Nationwide Defence Committee Against Sects, told Polish television about today's court ruling, "The Supreme Court said clearly that there are limits for artists which cannot be crossed."
The court said audience members who testified said their religious feelings had not been hurt despite the fact they were Christians.
Video footage of today's court ruling:
Interview with Nergal's attorney after today's ruling:
As previously reported, according to BEHEMOTH's bassist Orion (Tomasz Wróblewski), the band will be part of the 2013 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival right before they release their upcoming NEW studio album. Read more HERE!
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Photo credit: Aline Miladinovich
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