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.