BEHEMOTH's Adam "Nergal" Darski is back in court defending himself against allegations that he disrespected one of Poland's national symbols.
Back in January 2018, it was announced that Nergal was being formally charged by Polish authorities in a case involving the band's "Republic Of The Unfaithful" tour artwork and merchandise, which was said to be "insulting" to the national coat of arms of Poland, a stylized white eagle with a golden beak and talons, and wearing a golden crown, in a red shield. Three months later, Nergal posted an update via Instagram, revealing that "all the absurd charges" against him were "dismissed."
Now, in a new message on his social media, Nergal has revealed that the case was reopened and the matter is being investigated further.
He wrote: "So some idiots still claim that 'The Republic of the unfaithful' @behemothofficial logo is a sacrilege of Polish national emblem. It is NOT in fact. But they insisted to reopen the case to investigate further. They think that copyrights of white eagle is solely owned by Poland and every other interpretation of the bird is a blasphemy. My antagonists seem to be sooo desperate to nail their favorite scapegoat to their rotten moral cross that they missed all the common sense in the narrative. They accuse us of anti-Polish act. If u ask me, spending hours in the court, engaging all the people around (journalists, judges, lawyers etc etc) spending xxx tax money on another absurd case is DEEPLY anti-Polish. We all could have saved this time to do something creative, couldn't we?"
Two and a half years ago, the case was referred to court by the District Prosecutor's Office in Gdańsk, northern Poland, which said that an expert on heraldry and iconography determined that the tour's artwork featured "a distorted image of Poland's national emblem."
The artwork "included elements and symbols considered Satanist and anti-Christian, with the aim of conveying content far removed from the historical and state ideology," the prosecutor's office said.
Nergal and Maciej G., who, as the band's webmaster, promoted the tour online, were accused of publicly affronting the Polish national emblem, which carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison. Also charged was Rafał Wechterowicz, the graphic artist who worked on the BEHEMOTH artwork.
Polish symbols are protected against public profanation and insult. According to Lexology.com, any public use that could be damaging or insulting may be considered a criminal offense. Therefore, it is important not to use any national symbol (even if artistically processed) in a way that could be deemed as disrespectful or offensive.
In 2011, Nergal was acquitted in Poland on charges he insulted religious sentiment when he called the Catholic Church "the most murderous cult on the planet" during the band's September 2007 performance in Gdynia and tore up a copy of the Bible, calling it "a book of lies."