Fears over Greek 'bigot' trial

By Jennifer Lipman, September 16, 2010

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) has called for an independent EU observer to attend a court case involving an extremist Greek writer who has described Jews as "subhuman" and questioned the Holocaust.

Konstantinos Plevris was found guilty of inciting racial hatred in 2007 and sentenced to 14 months in jail, but was later acquitted in an appeal.

He is now taking legal action against a series of his critics, including three Greek human rights activists.

The notorious right-wing historian penned a book called “Jews: the whole truth‟ in which he wrote: “I am a Nazi and a fascist, I am racist, anti-democratic and I am an antisemite.”

The trial is set to begin on September 22 in Athens.

But the WJR called the case “a perversion of justice” and “an assault on fundamental European values.”

In a letter to the president of the European Parliament, the WJC vice president Maram Stern said there should be an official envoy to the trial.

Mr Stern said this was crucial “to ascertain whether the Greek courts act in agreement with the basic principles of the EU.”

He also criticised the Greek judiciary for acquitting Mr Plevris.

“We must not allow a situation in which people who speak out against bigots are prosecuted while the hatemongers themselves are acquitted.”

Last updated: 4:00pm, September 16 2010