Statement of the Antinazi Initiative
THE THREE MEMBERS OF ANTINAZI INITIATIVE WERE ACQUITTED. THIS WAS A SLAP IN THE FACE FOR THE FASCISTS.
STILL THEY WERE MUZZLED DURING THE TRIAL
The trial of the three Antinazi Initiative members was held on December 6, 2010 at the Second Three-member Athens Appeals Court for Misdemeanors. They were accused for “dissemination of false news”. The indictment characterized as “false news” the denouncements of ANI concerning the anti-Semitic and pro-nazi positions of specific judges during the trial process against K. Plevris, where they testified as witnesses for the prosecution. The court unanimously acquitted the three accused members of ANI, ignoring the prosecutor’s proposal for their conviction. The acquittal was the result of ANI’s campaign, and especially its international summer campaign. The ANI’s denunciation that Greece is being turned to the first anti-Semitic state in Europe has revealed the country’s fascistization course. It has attracted national and international attention and caused manifestations of solidarity both inside the country and abroad by citizens, antifascist organizations, and Jewish organizations as well, such as the World Jewish Council.
THE WITNESSES FOR THE DEFENSE, THE DEFENDANTS, AND EVEN THEIR ADVOCATES WERE MUZZLED
However, the courtroom procedure, as well as the silence of the parliamentary parties and the media in relation to this trial, clearly indicated that the status of cover-up of anti-Semitism, grown inside the judiciary, is carried on. The court scrupulously silenced all the parties of the trial who tried to support arguments in favor of the defendants regarding the essence of the case, that is, to prove:
1. That the judges Matzounis, Pagouteli, and Lazarakos, whom the ANI had denounced in its texts under dispute, expressed anti-Semitic and pro-nazi positions, and
2. That there could only be a fascist network inside the judicial system that manipulated the acquittal of an overt nazi such as Plevris and of nazism per se, and covered up those judges.
The firm position of the presiding judge was that everything related to the essence of the judges’ positions or to the fascist character of the network in the judicial system, was either irrelevant, or sufficiently covered from the Plevris trial brief documents– which the judges had not studied since they were not included in the ANI’s trial brief! As a result the defense witnesses and the defendants were refused the right to demonstratively talk about these issues. In fact, the court handled this legally and politically very important trial that concerned some very serious accusations against judges, as if it were a routine trial of middle-small importance.
Councils for the three defendants were G. Doudos, lawyer from Salonica, and N. Tzenos, lawyer from Kalavryta, who undertook to defend the defendants to the end, exhibiting bravery, responsibility, and posing no political conditions and no commitments of any kind. The process set off with the examination of the only witness for the prosecution that was no other than K. Plevris. He began testifying by declaring that “he is not a nazi”, a statement that provoked laughter among the audience. When asked by the defense whether it’s true that the three judges mentioned in the ANI’s announcements have characterized his book as “a scientific work”, he replied that it’s the five-member Athens Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court plenary session that characterized the book “a scientific work” as well! This successful counter-argument of the nazi has shown in essence how deeply fascism has eroded the Greek justice. Right afterwards, when the advocates tried to show the prosecutor’s inconsistency of calling upon a nazi to testify in favor of the credibility of justice in front of the court, the bench didn’t allow them to pose any questions! Anna Stai was dealt with the same way when she tried to exercise her legal right as defendant, to pose questions to the witness K. Plevris. The presiding judge told her, first, that the only way to pose questions to the witness was through the bench, but when she tried to do so, he finally did not allow the question! Despite the constant interruptions by the bench, due to her tremendous persistence and under the pressure of the advocates, A. Stai managed to ask Plevris about the statement in his book for being a nazi, a racist and anti-Semite, to which he replied: “I am whatever you want”. Besides, the co-fighter showed a citation of another K. Plevris’ book, in which he characterizes the female judges as incapable, while there were two female judges in the room!
Then the presiding judge examined the list of the four defense witnesses that the advocates handed him. He stated to the defense advocates that they should choose two witnesses only, and when they strongly protested he allowed three (!!!) and said that he wouldn’t allow four. So the fourth witness, Ilias Nachman, wasn’t allowed to testify. It is quite characteristic that in Plevris’ trial the bench had allowed the only defendant to have as many defense witnesses as he liked, that is nearly 10.
The first witness for the defense to be examined was the co-fighter from ANI Ilias Zafiropoulos who testified as a member of the Antinazi Initiative, and tried to argue on the essence of the case analyzing the anti-Semitic positions of the judges. However, the presiding judge interrupted him at once and said that this was of no interest to the court and called upon the prosecutor to pose questions. The prosecutor asked him whether he adopted the context of the statements about anti-Semitism in justice, about the anti-Semite judges and about the function of a fascist network inside the judiciary at a greater extent. When the witness replied that this is definitely the case, the prosecutor told him irritated that his answer was being recorded!!! Then the prosecutor asked him if the announcements of the ANI could cause any unrest. The co-fighter said that it was the really anti-Semitic positions of the judges that could cause unrest to the citizens, rather than ANI’s critique of their being anti-Semitic, and that on the contrary, ANI’s critique was welcomed with relief from the citizens. The prosecutor said that this was... contradictory. When the advocates tried to ask the witness about the concrete positions of the judges, the presiding judge interrupted them by saying that all those were shown from the documents and that he wouldn’t allow such questions. Then the witness stated that this was not a fair trial and the presiding judge told him to sit down with no further comments.
Right afterwards, Dimitris Psarras, the well-known journalist of the “Ios” column in “Eleftherotypia” newspaper, was called upon by the court. He tried to expose his evidence on Marianthi Pagouteli. This was one of the three judges whom ANI denounced as anti-Semite. The previous day the newspaper “Eleftherotypia” had published the reportage of D. Psarras that caused a great sensation in the blogs and some radio-stations. The reportage proved that M. Pagouteli kept a blog full of anti-Semitic positions and that through that she kept contact with other judges. This evidence proved that ANI was right about Pagouteli, and strengthened a lot the position of the defendants that there existed a fascist network inside the judiciary. The presiding judge interrupted the witness’ testimony at once and told him that this evidence was irrelevant to the case!!! The witness only managed to say that the interest in this case lays in the fact that the judges acquitted K. Plevris not in the name of freedom of expression but on the grounds of justifying the essence of his writings! When the advocates tried to ask him something about the network, they were prevented to, in the same way as happened with the first witness. Finally, the chairman allowed one sole question by the defendant Rena Koutelou concerning the fact that M. Pagouteli adopted Plevris’ genocidal position that “Jew and human are contradictory terms”, which the witness commented as anti-Semitic position.
Having practically silenced two witnesses for the defense within a couple of minutes, the court summoned the third and last witness, Abraham Reitan, who had been also a witness for the prosecution during K. Plevris’ trial on behalf of KIS (Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece). He was given some more time just enough to testify his “bitter” as he called it experience with M. Pagouteli in Plevris’ trial, when she demanded that both he and another witness, Veniamin Albala, who was also a Jew, should deny the teachings of Talmud in order to prove that they weren’t “guilty” in accordance with K. Plevris’ “indictment” about Talmud. He added that in that trial, other judges as well had made statements animated by anti-Semitism.
Then, it was time for the defendants to make their statements. Even then, the court imposed summary procedures by depriving the defendants even of the sacred right to present their statements without interference. When the first defendant, Anna Stai, tried to analyze the anti-Semitic positions of the judges, the chairman interrupted her and advised her to keep to the indictment. When she replied that these were included in the indictment, he said that the positions of the judges were shown from the documents. As far as she was allowed to speak, A. Stai insisted on the fact that the judges characterized as a “scientific work” the book of Plevris, which is actually a genocide handbook, as she called it. She mentioned as important evidence for the existence of a network the fact that P. Matzounis’ disciplinary findings on prosecutor Sp. Mouzakitis (the prosecutor that pressed charges against Plevris) were illegally handed to K. Plevris. She emphasized on the distortion of the ANI’s texts by the indictment, where two totally different texts were being fused: a poster of January 14, 2009 and an announcement of January 28, 2009, with the purpose of changing the ANI’s denunciation of a fascist network inside the judicial system, into the false accusation of a “fascist network in the judicial body to which L. Lazarakos, P. Matzounis and M. Pagouteli participated among others”. A. Stai was asked by the prosecutor whether she was the writer of the texts and spokesperson of the Antinazi Initiative. She replied that the prosecutor’s office had no right to prosecute the 3 witnesses of the Antinazi Initiative on Plevris’ trial as they were arbitrarily considered spokespersons of the ANI, just because of their participation at Plevris’ trial as witnesses. She stressed that the announcements were texts of the Antinazi Initiative that were collectively decided, and as such she adopted and supported them to the last syllable. She also stressed that all denouncements of the Antinazi Initiative against the judges in relation to K. Plevris’ acquittal were made because the reasoning of this acquittal consists the acquittal of nazism per se. The meaning of such an acquittal was that anyone could propagandize that the Jews must be exterminated from now on. Finally, while the presiding judge repeatedly interrupted her, A. Stai concluded that the ANI would never recognize these decisions of the Greek courts.
Then, it was Rena Koutelou that defended herself, by supporting her position on the judges’ anti-Semitism, though she underwent the same interference by the presiding judge while arguing for her innocence. R. Koutelou referred to the history of the submission from ANI of a complaint against Plevris at the prosecutor’s office. She explained how the violation of all democratic principles was obvious in every step of this process, and that there was a series of anti-Semitic positions expressed by the judicial officials, who participated in it, such as L. Lazarakos, P. Matzounis, and M. Pagouteli. She referred to the calculated constant postponements of the discussion of K. Plevris’ appeal, as his case had always been set last in the list. The last postponement was made during the trial that commenced in January 14, 2009, for a totally ostensible reason that was the non-communication to Plevris of the reasoning of Pagouteli in his favor (that is, when she voted against his conviction at the first degree in December 2007). So she supported the position on the fascist network’s existence and said that its existence was possible due to all parliamentary parties’ support that politically adopted anti-Semitism and covered up the trial because of their control over the media.
Finally, Rena Koutelou protested on the fact that during K. Plevris’ trial, when the three members of ANI were witnesses for the prosecution, they were thoroughly examined by the judges, prosecutors, Plevris’ advocates, and by Plevris himself, as if they were the ones accused. On the contrary, now that they have found themselves actually accused by the state not only they are not allowed to examine the witnesses but not even complete their own defense statements.
When asked by the prosecutor if she were or not the writer of the texts, she replied too that the writer was the Antinazi Initiative that functions collectively, and stated that she wholly adopted and supported those texts.
The last defendant to speak was Lambis Katsiapis, who emphasized on the three judges’ prejudiced stance at K. Plevris’ trial and their coinciding with him in various cases. The presiding judge told him that he could mention only one point for the anti-Semitic positions of the judges, the most important to his judgment, and finish. L. Katsiapis also supported ANI’s texts when questioned by the prosecutor.
The prosecutor concluded in his speech that according to the replies of the defendants, it was proved that they were the writers of the texts and that they should be convicted as they have falsely spread the rumor that there are anti-Semite judges who have also formed networks inside the judicial body. He stressed that such false news may cause unrest to the citizens and may prevent the judges from doing their job. Therefore he said, no other than the judicial authorities themselves could denounce the judges whom he characterized defenseless against criticism when it comes from citizens. Then he proposed the conviction of the defendants according to the indictment.
Then the councils for the defense spoke. They supported pointedly and with rich jurisprudence the right of criticism over the judicial decisions, but also spoke against the widespread in our country anti-Semitism and – during the minimum time that was left to them by the court – referred to the anti-Semitic character of specific judges’ positions. They also defended the position of ANI’s texts stating that on the basis of the data of K. Plevris trial, one could come to the conclusion that a fascist network in the broad sense does really exist in the judicial system.
The court adjourned till two o’clock in the midday, when they announced the unanimous decision on the innocence of the accused. By hearing that, the audience burst into clapping.
No reasoning on the specific acquittal has been announced by the bench as yet. We will definitely learn it in a short while when the decision is engrossed. However, it is clear that, since the anti-Semitic positions of the judges were out of discussion in this trial, it is impossible that such a judgment be included in the acquittal reasoning, so these judges will remain untouched.
The acquittal should become springboard to victory and not blindfold over the democrats’ eyes
We consider that the acquittal of the three members of Antinazi Initiative will be only a blindfold over democrats’ eyes as long as the three judges whom the Antinazi Initiative denounced remain in office and sitting on the bench of courtrooms, as long as the anti-Semitic acquittal decision of the Supreme Court in favour of the nazi Plevris - a shameful decision not only for justice but for the whole country * - remains in force, and as long as all the parliamentary parties and currents approve this decision with their silence, that is, they do not initiate its annulment by parliamentary action.
We have every reason to conclude that the political regime wanted to use such a blindfold considering the way that the judges, especially the presiding judge of the specific trial deprived the defendants and their defenders from their right to argue in favour of their innocence. What do we mean by this? This means that they were not allowed to prove that the denouncements of ANI about anti-Semitic or even pronazi positions of the judges were true and not false. Such proof would mean that these judges should not be allowed to sit on the bench, and not only in modern democratic courts but even in slave state courts.
This procedure objectively served a dual purpose: to acquit the ANI members without exposing the specific judges and their anti-Semitic or pro-nazi positions to the public and within the judiciary. That is: the defendants are found innocent but the same applies for those judges for whom the denouncements were made. In other words the defendants are free to speak as they like against the judges on the basis of freedom of speech, but also the judges holding racist ideas are free to take people to trial and convict them on the basis of such ideas. Furthermore, the Supreme Court is free to provide them with all necessary jurisprudence for this purpose; the political system is also free to protect this terrible crime that is, the constant accumulation of anti-Semitism and racism within the state and in society. Consequently, freedom is acknowledged for the intellectual expression and finally the organizational activity of neo-nazism in the form of the Greek nazi gang of “Golden Dawn”.
If the court condemned the 3 members of ANI, such a conviction would rather cause greater noise than subside it in the interior where the democrats have started worrying about the growth of the nazis of Golden Dawn, as well as abroad where the primary target of nazis, the Jewish organizations, had begun to acquire knowledge of the issue and intensively mobilised at international level against the acquittal of the nazi. If this mobilization continued, the regime would have an immediate problem at diplomatic level, where Papandreou tries to appear as friend of Israel and of the West in general in order to break the international isolation of the neonazi state of Iran. This scheme gets all the more difficult as the anti-Semitic Greece becomes evident, namely as highlight is given to the anti-Semitic Supreme Court decision in favor of Plevris, a decision issued while the Papandreou government was in power. If now while Papandreou was in power, there was a conviction against the 3 anti-nazi activists, this would place multiple emphasis on the acquittal of the nazi and the presence of anti-Semites and pronazi judges in the judiciary. Now the acquittal of the 3 antinazi activists seems to soften the acquittal of the nazi as a counterpoise. This is because it seems as if saying inwards and outwards: Here we have freedom of speech for anti-fascists and for fascists. The difference is that Plevris was not acquitted by the courts on the grounds of freedom of speech but because the court exhibited elaborate agreement with his monstrous nazi positions, a fact that is little known. On the contrary, the court acquitted the 3 of ANI without showing any sympathy for their positions. This was illustrated by the different treatment of the two cases of defendants. For their "own" nazi defendant, three days were granted for the trial and the defendant’s rights were acknowledged from the beginning to the end at first degree and at second degree. In the case of the "troublemakers" of ANI they had reserved a two hours hearing and treatment such as: "we can acquit you but we cannot, on top of it, allow you to talk about your just cause, that is, against us." In fact, at the trial of the 3, there was a more important political and legal issue to be judged. The Plevris trial was about a racist book while the trial of ANI was about three judges with racist positions and a Supreme Court that endorsed these positions.
This is not a stance especially against the three. The same
attitude prevailed in the courts as well as at political level in respect of the
very important and courageous political revelation of the journalist Psarras for
the anti-Semite and even pro-nazi appellate judge Pagouteli and her internet
this revelation – so closely connected with ANI’s trial- was
estimated as journalist’s success for the Sunday issue of “Eleftherotypia”
newspaper and within a few hours made a deep impression in the public.
Consequently it could be a prime-time theme for TV news
even in terms of commercial ratings. Yet it was shamefully muffled in court and
the following days from the rest of the press and all TV channels and only
circulated through the web which is uncontrolled so far from the inter-parties
regime. We do not know if the regime of the
inter-parties censorship will be capable to keep this big scandal so quiet till
the end, which is not so easy. What we know is that this is its target.
In the same way it attempts to conceal in general the existence of pronazi views
in the judiciary and elsewhere.
The real problem of the fascists is that: as they advance their positions in the state and in political power generally, it gets all the more difficult for them to conceal the same. Therefore, as far as people are informed about these positions, the resistance against them grows. That's why every manoeuvre of fascism for their concealment makes the task more bitter and risky for the fascists.
This applies also in the case of ANI’s acquittal. This might bear for the fascists and the political forces which cover them, all the kinds of advantages just mentioned, but these are all temporary. For all of the above, the acquittal of ANI closed temporarily the large gap of the acquittal of Nazism from the Appeals Court and the Supreme Court, and the existence of racist judges, but instigated something new. The acquittal of ANI gives courage to many anti-fascists who had started to believe that the process of fascistizasion of the country is very rapid and practically unhindered. And this courage is not the product of a delusion. The fascists and the political system that protects them were obliged to acquit the Antinazi Initiative and they were obliged both by reactions in the interior as well as – actually more at this stage- from abroad. It is certain that Plevris and his friends in the judiciary were given a very significant slap in terms of moral credibility and momentum. This was because their political patrons were forced to make a manoeuvre with the acquittal of the ANI, as its conviction would involve greater political cost. But what does this mean? It means that there are now too many people who worry about the fascistization of the country and closely monitor such developments as well as that there are more and more people willing to resist now. It is significant that, following two postponements of the trial, at the hearing of December 6 there was greatest presence of supporters despite less press publicity. These people are with us now more than ever. The only thing we have to do is to strengthen the fight against the fascistization of justice and of the whole country with their contribution. The acquittal of ANI is only a problem if we do not understand its meaning and we are appeased in relation to the advance of fascism. If we understand its meaning as a regular retreat of the fascists and their patrons, then we will be able to take the initiative to fight back and at judicial level (campaign for the legislative cancellation of the acquittal of Nazism- removal of anti-Semites and pronazi judges from the judiciary body) and at central political level with a major campaign against the para-state of the nazis of Golden Dawn and mainly against the political system that protects them.
* This decision is the greatest judicial crime in postwar Greece
and maybe the greatest postwar judicial crime in the world. This crime is
summarized in the position of the Athens Court of Appeal, which was approved by
the Supreme Court, that Plevris is innocent because, among other things, he is
not calling for the extermination of Jews solely because they belong to a
particular race or ethnicity but because they conspire for
world domination. That is, it was considered as
not being racist, the position found at the core of modern, Hitler-type
anti-Semitism, which is precisely the theory of global Jewish conspiracy. It is
not only that in this way the extermination of Jews is not considered a racist
crime but also that anyone may be vindicated as to this, so long as one believes
that the Jews, men, women and children to be exterminated, seek or will seek
global domination, motivated basically from the nature of their religion.