The Supreme Court of Poland has ruled that anti-Christian remarks spoken by Behemoth guitarist/vocalist Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski at a 2007 Behemoth concert in Gdynia, Poland were in violation of Polish law.
Nergal stands accused of calling the Catholic Church, “the most murderous cult on the planet,” as well as tearing up a copy of the Bible and calling it, “a book of lies.”
The court’s decision means Nergal will now be forced to plead his case in front of a lower court. If he is found guilty he faces a maximum of two years in jail.
Nergal’s lawyer, Jacek Potulski told Reuters.com that the court’s decision is a violation of the frontman’s right to free speech: “[The decision] is negative and restricts the freedom of speech. The court decided that this is allowed in a democratic system.”
He added: “We are still arguing that we were dealing with art, which allows more critical and radical statements.”
However, the chairman of the privately run Nationwide Defense Committee Against Sects, Ryszard Nowak, who has previously attempted to sue the band for promoting Satanism, told Polish television that Nergal had abused his right to free speech: “The Supreme Court said clearly that there are limits for artists which cannot be crossed.”
Nergal had previously appeared in court over the matter in August 2011. At the time it was ruled by Polish judge Krzysztof Wieckowski that Nergal’s desecration of the Bible during the show was a form of artistic expression consistent with the style of his band.
The judge said that the court had no intention of limiting freedom of expression or the right to criticize religion and added that audience members who testified at the trail stated that their religious feelings had not been hurt despite the fact they were Christians.
Stay tuned for more details.