The Board of Deputies of British Jews



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 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   

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