Behemoth’s Nergal Convicted of ‘Offending Religious Feelings’
Behemoth’s Nergal has been convicted of “offending religious feelings” after posting a photo of himself standing on an image of the Virgin Mary. The musician has been fined PLN 15,000 (roughly $4,000) and ordered to pay court costs of an additional PLN 3,500.
In the past, Nergal won a case brought against him by the Polish government for ripping up a Bible onstage and calling the holy text a “book of lies.” Behemoth were also targeted after releasing a controversial T-shirt design which resembled the Polish national emblem.
As for the decision made against Nergal for “offending religious feelings,” the Behemoth frontman plans to oppose the ruling, according to Anty Radio. The judgement was handed down to Nergal as a prescriptive sentence, which means the court issued the writ without a hearing. According to Nergal’s attorney, Jacek Potulski, the musician’s objection against the judgement “cancels the decision and the case goes to procedure.”
The verdict against Nergal was shared via Twitter by Polish attorney and president of the board of the Ordo Iuris Institute for Legal Culture (described as an ultra-conservative, extreme anti-choice group by OpenDemocracy.net) Jerzy Kwaśniewski.
“As you can see, it's a prescriptive sentence. It probably initiates further proceedings. But, in the spirit of the judgments of the Strasbourg Tribunal and the Constitutional Tribunal, I can say that we have put in place penal norms to protect religious peace by rejecting anti-religious hatred,” the attorney writes.”This is an important change.” [via Google Translate]
When asked about the judgement, Nergal chose not to offer a comment.