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BEHEMOTH's NERGAL Due In Court Once Again For "Offending Religious Feelings"

Poland and Nergal – not exactly buddies.

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Behemoth frontman Adam "Nergal" Darski is due in court once again for "offending religious feelings." If found guilty, the charges can result in up to two years in Polish prison.

According to Notes From Poland (NFP), the case originates from an image posted by Nergal in 2019 of himself stomping on a photo of the Virgin Mary. The case against Nergal was brought forth by the ultra-conservative legal group Ordo Iuris and the Towarzystwo Patriotyczne, claiming that he had "offended the religious feelings of four people." Nergal was eventually found guilty in Warsaw-Mokotów district court in 2021 and fined 18,500 zloty (~$4,200), though he and prosecutors both appealed the ruling.

Then in August 2021, the case was dismissed as the court felt Nergal made it clear that he would be posting anti-religious photos on his social media, and that basically people should know what they were getting into. Ordo Iuris challenged the ruling and in December 2021, the Warsaw district court (NFP notes Warsaw district court and Warsaw-Mokotów district court are different) ruled that there should be a trial.

The first hearing in the trial began in January 2023. Judge Rafał Stępak considered dismissing the case on the grounds that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled in favor of pop star Dorota "Doda" Rabczewska in 2022, saying Poland had "violated her right to freedom of expression" in a similar lawsuit. The case was not dismissed.

Then on March 7, the Warsaw-Mokotów district court found that "the ECHR jurisprudence requires certain findings to be established, for which a hearing is necessary." In other words, Nergal now needs to be questioned on May 29 to potentially establish his freedom of expression as Doda did. Which is insane considering this case has gone on for four years at this point and… really doesn't seem like a big deal. Dude stomped on a photo.

Nergal and the Polish courts are hardly strangers to one another. Nergal has been brought to a judge for everything from tearing a Bible up on stage over a decade ago to pissing off the Polish government when he made fun of their Coat Of Arms. Here's hoping he comes out of this one unscathed as well.

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