Former Belgian lawmaker convicted for downplaying Holocaust


(JTA) — A former lawmaker from Belgium was given a suspended six-month prison sentence for downplaying the importance of the Holocaust.

Laurent Louis, who served as lawmaker in Belgium’s federal parliament for four years until 2014, received the punishment from the 60th chamber of the Correctional Tribunal of Brussels for making statements that consciously downplayed the atrocities committed by the German occupation forces that ruled Belgium during World War II, the judge wrote in his sentence, which was handed down Tuesday, the RTBF broadcaster reported.

“During his trial, Mr. Louis seemed to think he was in parliament rather than in a court of law,” the judge added. “He expressed little regret toward the people he offended and offers little evidence in the way of correcting his ways.”

During his time in parliament, Louis, 35, was responsible for a number of actions perceived as provocative to Belgian Jews and resistance fighters.

In 2014, Louis said in parliament that “the Holocaust was set up and financed by the pioneers of Zionism.” He also posed outside parliament while standing on an Israeli flag and holding a portrait of Bashar Assad, Syria’s president.

The Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism, or LBCA, which was among the plaintiffs against Louis in his latest trial, pledged during its inaugural event to focus much of its activities on the former independent member of the lower house. He entered parliament as a representative of the small center-right People’s Party, but he was later kicked out.


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