Jewish body calls on EU Parliament to send observer at trial of Greek human activists who denounced Greek anti-Semite (via ejp)

NEW YORK/ATHENS (EJP, 19/09/2010)—The World Jewish Congress (WJC) has called on the president of the European Parliament to send an independent observer to watch the trial of three Greek human rights activists who spoke out against Greece’s notorious anti-Semite and extreme-right lawyer and writer Konstantinos Plevris.

Konstantinos Plevris, who has described Jews as “subhuman and questioned the Holocaust in his book “Jews: the whole truth,” 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 the three human rights activists, representatives of the Greek Jewish community and several journalists as for libel. The public prosecutor’s office in Athens started legal action for allegedly “propagating false news which could cause unrest to citizens regarding the impartiality of the Greek judicial system”.

The trial will commence on 22 September.

The Word Jewish Congress criticized the Greek judiciary for acquitting Plevris last year and for now trying to silence those who publicly spoke out against him.

In a letter to European Parliament president, WJC Vice President and Deputy Secretary-General Maram Stern called the trial “a perversion of justice” and “an assault on fundamental European values.”

He voiced suspicion that parts of the Greek judiciary were not inclined to defend fundamental European values, but consciously acted against them.

“We must not allow that people who speak out against bigots such as Mr. Plevris are being prosecuted whilst the hate mongers themselves are being acquitted by the courts,” he said.

“We urge the European Parliament to dispatch an independent observer to this trial in order to ascertain whether the Greek courts act in agreement with the basic principles of the EU,” Stern wrote in his letter.

“These three courageous people stood up against a notorious hate monger who has repeatedly called for the annihilation of Jews and praised the Nazis. They defended the small Jewish community in Greece, and they deserve our support.”

The WJC also wrote letters to Greek President Karolos Papoulias, Prime Minister Georges Papandreou and Greek Orthodox Primate Archbishop Ieronymos II, urging them to speak out against the trial and Plevris’ incitement.

Καμπάνια της Αντιναζιστικής Πρωτοβουλίας / Denouncement from Antinazi Initiative and Call for Action

Antinazi Initiative sends the following informative note – letter to the European institutional bodies, to antifascist organizations, to Greek and European democrats, and condemns the recent decision of the Greek Supreme Court that acquitted Nazism and asks for support to its 3 prosecuted members who go on trial on September 22, 2010. We propose that you sign a text of denouncement and declaration of solidarity which you can send to the Greek prime minister and the President of the European Parliament, and which you will find at the end of this message with the instructions for sending it.

Διαβάστε την ελληνική εκδοχή του κειμένου εδώ και εδώ.

Σχετική ανάρτηση: Η Αντιναζιστική Πρωτοβουλία για την οριστική αθώωση ενός φιλοναζιστή.

ANTINAZI INITIATIVE

35 CHALKOKONDYLI STR., ATHENS, GREECE , tel-fax +30 2105232553

http://www.antinazi.gr, e-mail: info [at] antinazi.gr

Athens, 13 July 2010

Greece: the first officially anti-Semitic state in Europe.

We must not permit that! Solidarity to Greek democrats!

We address you regarding the above mentioned subject because we believe that the blatant violation of the Greek state’s obligations for the fight against anti-Semitism within European Union and at international level, has very serious consequences for the whole of Europe, as we will explain below. Greece is the first country in Europe after the Second World War where the Supreme Court legalised the open crude call for realisation of genocide against the Jewish citizens of this particular country but also the Jewish all over Europe.

We address you on behalf of Antinazi Initiative, an organisation of citizens that has office in Athens, was founded in June 1997 and is activated in the fight against neonazism, racism, xenophobia and antisemitism in the Greek society. You can find more information about us and our activities in our web page “www.antinazi.gr”.

With this letter we want to denounce the fact that the Greek state whitewashed nazism morally, politically and legally through the trial of Kostas Plevris, widely known as the leading voice of neonazism in our country. As if this was not enough, the Greek state proceeded to the prosecution of the three members of Antinazi Initiative that were witnesses for the prosecution in above trial.

Kostas Plevris was a founding cadre of Greek party Popular Orthodox Alarm (LA.O.S) which has 15 Deputies in the Greek Parliament. This party holds also a seat in the European Parliament.

K. Plevris had participated in the European elections of 1999 in cooperation with the also openly neonazi and criminally violent organisation “Golden Dawn”.

The outline of this trial has as follows:

In May 2006 K. Plevris wrote a book of 1400 pages titled “Jews, the whole Truth”, which has sold until now thousands of copies and could be found at the bigger bookshops of Athens. In this book K. Plevris calls blatantly for a new extermination of the Jews, threatens the democratic citizens with “the gallows”, praises the atrocities of the Third Reich, and tries to “prove” for which reasons Greece and the whole Europe should be released from the “sub-humans” and “treacherous” Jews!!!

Through the pages of the book the writer prompts to racist violence and hatred against the Jews reviving the cannibalistic Hitler type anti-Semitism.

We cite here just few of these extracts:

“That’s what the Jews deserve. For it’s the only way they understand: firing squad within 24 hours…”

“My book, which you are now reading is a simple proof that we don’t count on the Jews. We despise them for their morality, for their religion, for their deeds, which all prove that they are sub-humans”.

“I mostly challenge you, my readers, to discuss about Talmud and the Jewish religion. It is you that I challenge the most, for you are the victims. Wake up, the treacherous Jews are digging a pit for the Nations. Wake up and throw them in, for they deserve it…”

“Jew (in religion) and human are contradicting terms, that is the one excludes the other”

“Hitler had been accused for something that indeed never happened. History of mankind will accuse him for having done nothing to relieve Europe from Jews, though he could…

“I declare frankly, elsewhere too, that if the Germans had put Jewish Zionists to death, I – and I do not believe I am alone in this – would not be sorry. Jewish Zionists are criminals preparing our death. The annihilation of the White Race which they have hated so much, with envy compressed in their subconscious, for centuries. Our Race’s instinct for survival points to the way of war to the death against Jewish Zionism”.

“I stop at the historical truth that teaches the moral superiority of National Socialism”.

“National-Socialism is an ideology for “masters”, not for slaves. It is the faith of superior people…I cannot bear to see the murderers, bandits, rapists, oppressors, pests, corruptors, sappers of the ruffian Jewry, slandering the superior National-Socialists…”

“In 1945 the White Race suffered the greatest catastrophe in its history. Hitlerian Germany’s epic struggle for dominance by Aryans ended without a Victory”.

“… Surely the truth is restored little by little, the propaganda retreats and the day will come when the banners of Nazism wave”.

The Antinazi Initiative, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and the Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) submitted complaints against K. Plevris in accordance with the antiracist law of our country.

The result of the trials that followed and which lasted almost two and a half years, was the acquittal of K. Plevris.

In these trials most of the judges and public prosecutors turned the prosecution’s witnesses into defendants. These same judges and public prosecutors acknowledged the book of Plevris to be a “scientific work” and the result of “historical” research!!!

Furthermore, they themselves have taken a series of pronounced anti-Semitic positions and actually some of them in enthusiastic support of K. Plevris.

For example, a public prosecutor who was the first to characterize the nazi writer as a “scientist” and his book of holocaust denial as a “scientific writing”, addressed to us who sign this letter and were witnesses for the prosecution with the following question in the court room to support his argument that also the Nazis had the right to express their “views”: «Would you like to be judged and convicted by a nazi court;» When we testified for the extract of the book where the writer asked to re-open Auschwitch, the chairman of the bench became sarcastic saying: “So what, they can build a new one, can’t they? How difficult is it?”.

In the book a photograph of Jewish children kept hostage in Auschwitch is published. The defamatory subtitle under the photograph reads: “We see them fat enough”. Another public prosecutor involved in the trial “acquitted” the defendant for this raw offence of the victims of Holocaust on the grounds of the following reasoning: “Here the writer simply comments their good physical situation”! The same one accepted as valid the reference made in the book to “the Protocols of the Elders of Zion” (widely known as forgery), as book of the Jews!!!

A judge of the Appeals Court characterized the criminal ideology of National Socialism as “historical political system” and adopted a series of more pronounced anti-Semitic positions in favour of K. Plevris.

The political atmosphere during the trial and the day after

During the whole trial, two well – known cadres and MPs of the far-right party LAOS (Popular Orthodox Alarm) enthusiastically supported Kostas Plevris. These are Adonis Georgiadis who advertised the book repeatedly from the Greek television saying that it is his “favourite” and Thanassis Plevris, son of K Plevris, who was his defence advocate. The MP Thanassis Plevris asked from the court the acquittal of the defendant saying that it is the democratic right of each citizen to call for the extermination of any population and the re-opening of Auschwitch (!) At the final phase of the trial, an article published at LAOS weekly newspaper by its President George Karatzaferis, closed with the statement that the “Jew smells blood” (!).

At the same time all of the other parliamentary parties not only hushed up the trial protecting K. Plevris and LAOS, but used the influence they have on the television media in order to impose the absolute silence around this trial. Thus, the horrid scandal of the anti-Semitic positions of the judges was concealed from the Greek people, and so it was also concealed that members of the Greek Parliament have expressed positions in favour of nazism.

The consequence of such an attitude of the political world was the final acquittal of Kostas Plevris, from the Athens Court of Appeals (March 2009) as well as from the Supreme Court of our country, the “Areios Pagos” (May 2010) with decisions that include plenty of anti-Semitic arguments. The major scandal for our country and for the whole Europe is the reasoning of both judgments: of the Appeals Court and of the Supreme Court. Both these judgments justify the racist violence against the Jews as well as the nazi genocide as follows: “the defendant does not turn against the Jews, solely on the grounds of their racial and national origin but mainly on the grounds of their objectives for world domination, the methods that they use for the realisation of these and their conspiratorial action” (!!!)

The above cited phrase of the reasoning of the judgement means that the Greek justice with the full support of the Greek political system as a whole did not just acquit a nazi writer but legally, politically and morally acquitted Nazism per se, and defended the core of Nazism, that is, genocidal anti-Semitism.

The next step after this provocative acquittal was the criminal charges brought against us. Specifically, the public prosecutor’s office of Athens submitted to trial three members of Antinazi Initiative, that is, us who were witnesses for the prosecution in the K. Plevris trial. We were accused “for propagation of false news which could cause unrest to citizens regarding the impartiality of the Greek judicial system”. This prosecution was made because Antinazi Initiative repeatedly and publicly denounced the anti-Semitic and pro-nazi positions of the judges. The public prosecutor’s office of Athens called the nazi K. Plevris as witness for the prosecution!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our trial has been fixed for 22 September 2010.

So it is that sixty five years after the end of the WWII, a European state, Greece, justifies through the judicial authorities the genocide of Jews, acquits the most horrid manifestation of nazism, and leads to the defendant’s stand, the democratically minded citizens who resist to this provocation for all European citizens.

During these two and a half years of K. Plevris’ trial, the Antinazi Initiative gave a persistent struggle in order to shed light on this issue as a major political issue for political democracy in our country and in all Europe . In particular, in each stage of the trial we issued repeatedly press releases, we informed for the process of the trial, we reported about the court hearings and we denounced to the supreme judicial disciplinary bodies certain judges who took anti-Semitic positions. Following the acquittal decision of the Athens Court of Appeal, we launched a pan-european campaign in order to overturn the decision, with which we called Greek and European democratically minded people to protest to the Greek Government. This campaign had a very broad and enthusiastic response. Nevertheless, the Greek Supreme Court recently, on May 2010 validated the acquittal decision of the Athens Court of Appeal. This struggle should now continue.

Therefore, we ask you to denounce the above decision of the Greek Supreme Court, to demand the acquittal of the members of the Antinazi Initiative on the trial of September 22, 2010 and to make this letter as widely known as possible.

We are at your disposal for any further clarification, data, discussion, supporting documents etc.

If you want to condemn the decision of the Supreme Court of Greece and to express your support to the three prosecuted members of Antinazi Initiative you can send the proposed text of denouncement and declaration of solidarity that follows, to the Greek Prime Minister Mr. George A. Papandreou and to the President of the European Parliament Mr. Jerzy Buzek* and also to notify it to us to the address info[at]antinazi.gr.

This text is only a draft we suggest which you can alter or draw up your own text.

Thank you for your attention.

Respectfully yours,

On behalf of the Antinazi Initiative

Anna Stai

(e-mail: staianna[at]yahoo.gr)

Irene Koutelou

(e-mail: renalawgr[at]yahoo.gr

* Note: You can send the draft text or your text to the following addresses:

1. For the Greek Prime Minister

E-mail address: gpapandreou [at] parliament.gr

Postal Address:

To the Prime Minister of Greece

Mr. G. A. Papandreou

Maximou Mansion

19 Irodou Attikou St.

106-74 Athens , Greece

Fax Number: (+30) 2103811852

2. For the President of the European Parliament

e-mail address: jerzy.buzek [at] europarl.europa.eu

Postal Address:

To the President of the European Parliament

Mr. Jerzy Buzek

Bât. Altiero Spinelli

05F241

60, rue Wiertz

B-1047 Bruxelles

Fax No: (0032) 228 496 31

The draft text has as follows:

DENOUNCEMENT AND DECLARATION OF SOLIDARITY

We who sign this text were informed that in May 2010 the Supreme Court of Greece validated the decision of the Five Member Appeals Court of Athens which acquitted the neo-nazi Kostas Plevris for his racist and pro-Hitler book “Jews, the whole truth”.

The Supreme Court of Greece justified the racist violence against the Jews as well as the nazi genocide with the following reasoning: “the defendant does not turn against the Jews, solely on the grounds of their racial and national origin but mainly on the grounds of their objectives for world domination, the methods that they use for the realisation of these and their conspiratorial action” (!!!) We consider it inconceivable that sixty years after the Nazi atrocity and the genocide of Jews, the Supreme Court of a member state of European Union issued this unprecedented decision. We are greatly concerned about the fact that the Greek State (government and parliamentary parties) has not reacted so far in any way against this decision that acquitted politically and morally nazism and anti-Semitism.

As if this was not enough, three members of the Antinazi Initiative, Anna Stai, Irene Koutelou and Lampis Katsiapis, who were witnesses for the prosecution at the above trial, will go on trial on September 22, 2010 because the Antinazi Initiative publicly denounced that certain judges expressed anti-Semitic positions during the trial of K. Plevris.

We hereby call the Greek State and all institutional European bodies to condemn and annul the decision of the Supreme Court of Greece in any possible way.

Also, we protest for the prosecution of the three members of Antinazi Initiative, we express our solidarity to them and ask that they are acquitted.

Date: ………………../Signed by:………………

Αντισημιτισμός με τη βούλα του Αρείου Πάγου / Greek Supreme Court dismisses appeal in cassation against neo-Nazi Plevris’ acquittal!

English follows

Παραθέτουμε σήμερα ένα χαρακτηριστικό απόσπασμα από πρόσφατο Δελτίο Τύπου του Ελληνικού Παρατηρηρίου των Συμφωνιών του Ελσίνκι με ημερομηνία 20 Απριλίου 2010. Αντλούμε την αγγλική μετάφραση από την ίδια πηγή.

Ο Άρειος Πάγος απέρριψε την αίτηση αναίρεσης της αθώωσης του Κώστα Πλεύρη!

Το Ελληνικό Παρατηρητήριο των Συμφωνιών του Ελσίνκι (ΕΠΣΕ) πληροφορήθηκε σήμερα από τη γραμματεία του Αρείου Πάγου πως η Πλήρης Ποινική Ολομέλεια με την απόφαση 3/2010 απέρριψε την αίτηση του Εισαγγελέα του Αρείου Πάγου για αναίρεση υπέρ του νόμου της απόφασης 913/2009 του Πενταμελούς Εφετείου Αθηνών. Με την απόφαση εκείνη είχε αθωωθεί ο Κώστας Πλεύρης για παραβίαση του αντιρατσιστικού νόμου 927/79 με το βιβλίο του «Οι Εβραίοι: όλη η αλήθεια». Η απόφαση του Αρείου Πάγου, που πάρθηκε από μια πλειοψηφία 24 δικαστών με δύο μειοψηφίες 7 και 5 δικαστών, δεν έχει ακόμα καθαρογραφεί και αρχειοθετηθεί.

Ο Εκπρόσωπος του ΕΠΣΕ Παναγιώτης Δημητράς δήλωσε:

«Η πλειοψηφία των δικαστών του Άρειου Πάγου με την επικύρωση της ‘επονείδιστης’ κατά τον Καθηγητή Μιχάλη Σταθόπουλο (‘Θέμα και Παραλλαγές’ ΕΤ-1 29 Ιανουαρίου 2010) αθωωτικής απόφασης του Εφετείου Αθηνών απέδειξε περίτρανα αυτό που επί δεκαετίες έχουμε δηλώσει και τεκμηριώσει. Ο αντισημιτισμός όπως και οι άλλες μορφές ρατσισμού αποτελούν κυρίαρχο χαρακτηριστικό της ελληνικής κοινωνίας ενσωματωμένο και υποστηριζόμενο από τους θεσμούς της πολιτείας. Η Ελλάδα διαφέρει από όλες τις άλλες χώρες της ΕΕ, στις οποίες ο ρατσισμός αποτελεί περιθωριακό φαινόμενο, καταδικάζεται συστηματικά από τα θεσμικά όργανα και την πλειοψηφία των κοινωνιών τους και συνήθως διώκεται ποινικά. Η Ελλάδα θυμίζει περισσότερο τη Γερμανία λίγο πριν την άνοδο του Χίτλερ στην εξουσία στην οποία ο ρατσισμός κυριαρχούσε και ενσωματωνόταν θεσμικά. Δίκαια λοιπόν ο ΟΗΕ και το Συμβούλιο της Ευρώπης έχουν επανειλημμένα κάνει αυστηρές συστάσεις στην Ελλάδα για την υποχρέωση της να διασφαλίσει την τιμωρία των παραβάσεων του Νόμου 927/1979 ώστε να καταπολεμηθεί η υποκίνηση φυλετικού μίσους. Τις συστάσεις αυτές, όπως και πάρα πολλές άλλες στα θέματα ανθρώπινων δικαιωμάτων, η Ελλάδα συνεχίζει να αγνοεί επιδεικτικά. Η συνέχεια στη συγκεκριμένη υπόθεση θα δοθεί από το Ευρωπαϊκό Δικαστήριο Δικαιωμάτων του Ανθρώπου στο οποίο έχει ήδη προσφύγει το ΕΠΣΕ.»

Greek Supreme Court dismisses appeal in cassation against neo-Nazi Plevris’ acquittal!

(PRESS RELEASE-20 April 2010)

Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) was informed today by the registry of the Greek Supreme Court that, with Judgment 3/2010, the Supreme Court’s Criminal Section, sitting in plenary, dismissed the appeal in cassation in the interests of law, filed by the Prosecutor of the Supreme Court against judgment 913/2009 of the Five Members Appeals Court of Athens. With that judgment self-professed neo-Nazi Costas Plevris was acquitted of charges of violation of anti-racist law 927/79 with his book “The Jews: the whole truth”. The Supreme Court’judgment, taken by a majority of 24 judges with two dissenting opinions to which 7 and 5 judges subscribed, has not yet been notarised and made accessible.

GHM Spokesperson Panayote Dimitras stated:

“By upholding the ‘disgraceful,’ according to Athens University Professor Michalis Stathopoulos (“Theme and Variations” programme, ET-1 TV channel, aired on 29 January 2010), acquittal by the Athens Appeals Court, the majority of the Supreme Court’s judges amply demonstrated what we have been contending and documenting for dozens of years. In common with other forms of racism, anti-semitism constitutes a mainstream feature of Greek society, embedded in and supported by state institutions. Greece differs from all other EU member states, where racism is a marginalised phenomenon, systemically condemned by their institutional bodies and the majority of their citizens, as well as often criminally sanctioned. Greece is more resembling Germany shortly before the ascent of Hitler in power, when racism reigned and was embedded in the institutions. Both the UN and the Council of Europe therefore have every reason to have been issuing stern recommendations to Greece, reminding it of its obligation to ensure the sanctioning of violations of Law 927/1979 in order to fight incitement to racial hatred. Greece however continues to ostentatiously ignore these, as well as other human rights related, recommendations. The next act in this case will take place before the Europe Court of Human Rights, to which GHM has already filed an application.”

GHM attaches related material from the UN and Council of Europe review of Greece in 2009.

A reaction after the aquittement of K. Plevris (2009)

The Board of Deputies of British Jews

BOARD CONDEMNS DECISION TO ACQUIT GREEK NEO-NAZI

UNSPEAKABLE HATRED GOES UNPUNISHED BY GREEK AUTHORITIES….

LONDON – (8th May 2009) – The Board of Deputies condemns in the strongest terms the recent decision taken by a Greek court to acquit a neo-Nazi author, who wrote a book entitled ‘Jews – The Whole Truth’ which praises and justifies the Nazis’ actions while calling for Europe to be rid of its Jews.

Kostas Plevris, the author of the book, was originally given a 14 month suspended sentence in 2007 for violating an anti-racism law which prohibits incitement to racial discrimination, hatred or violence, but an appeal was held in April this year. The Appeals Court decided to overturn the decision and acquit Mr Plevris completely.

Mr Plevris’s book, is littered with unspeakable hatred, and overt antisemitism:

* “The history of humankind will hold Adolf Hitler responsible for the following: He did not rid Europe of the Jews whilst he could.”

* “Wake up – the treacherous Jews are digging a pit for the nations, wake up and throw them in for they deserve it.”

* “…that’s what the Jews deserve, for it’s the only way they understand: a firing squad within twenty four hours.”

* “The civilised world is to blame for tolerating those international pests called Judeans, the time of retaliation has come.”

The 2007 trial was held in a highly antisemitic atmosphere, with the presiding judge and public prosecutor seeming to defend Mr Plevris and the ‘scientific’ nature of his work, whilst reportedly threatening and intimidating the Jewish witnesses present. One witness was told by the prosecutor, “This court is indulging you, but I can’t tolerate you…I will have you arrested and locked up in a cell.”

Following the trial and in the lead up to the appeal, the Board of Deputies made contact on several occasions with the Greek Ambassador to the UK, to express its concerns at the proceedings of the original trial. The Board was also in constant contact with the Greek Jewish community.

Despite the outrage that broke out, the appeal trial was conducted in a similar manner. The counsels for the complainants were sent out of the court by the Judge who told Jewish witnesses that the court could defend them instead.

The Board of Deputies now intends to start an awareness campaign to draw attention to the injustice that has taken place. The Board’s Chief Executive Jon Benjamin observed that “we cannot sit back and watch while human rights and freedoms are ridiculed and abused in a fellow European country which claims to be a modern democracy. Legislation against hate crime has been created and therefore must be implemented in such a clear cut case as this.”

***For more information or to find out more about the awareness campaign please contact the Board of Deputies office.***

Media Contact: Mark Frazer Tel: 020 7543 5408