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Konstantinos A. Plevris (Greek: Κωνσταντίνος Α. Πλεύρης, born 1939 in Athens), in English sometimes Constantine Plevris or Kostas Plevris, is a Greek attorney of law of the Greek Supreme Court and far right author. A prolific writer, over the course of decades he has authored a number of books and other texts relating to Greek history, Greek culture, sociology, and politics, with a clear nationalist, homophobic (such as his book titled "Οι Κίναιδοι", a vehement polemic against homosexuals) content. He was the founder and leader of two nationalist parties, 4th of August and Front Line, with the former political party not only playing a significant role in influencing and shaping the future direction of the Greek extreme right, but also standing in its own right as a prominent pre-junta political movement in general. He has also cooperated (according to interviews he gave to various publications, including one to Italian magazine L'Europeo in 1976, which were quoted and accepted as proof in a court of law where he was the plaintiff against author Nikos Kleitsikas) with various European neo-fascist groups (including the Ordine Nuovo), and figures such as Pino Rauti, Pino Romualdi, Giorgio Almirante, and others of the same ilk. He later briefly joined the right-wing populist party Popular Orthodox Rally, as its leading candidate in the 2004 elections. He hosts the weekly television show "Edo Ellas" (Εδώ Ελλάς in Greek) on the EXTRA-3 channel, and was the host of "Istorikes Mnimes" (Ιστορικές Μνήμες) on TeleAsty, Karatzaferis' TV channel. He is father of Thanos Plevris, former member of the Greek parliament with the nationalist-populist party Popular Orthodox Rally.
In December 2007, Plevris was initially found guilty of inciting racial hatred by a Greek court based on excerpts and quotations in his book The Jews: The Whole Truth. He appealed the court ruling and on 27 March 2009 the court of appeals overturned the ruling of incitement with 4-1 votes. Plevris was cleared on the charge of having caused violence by the 5-member court, but it was noted that he was a Holocaust denier. The ruling prompted some charges of miscarriage of justice.
Education and academic background
Plevris graduated from the Lycée Léonin (Γαλλική Σχολή του Λεοντείου Λυκείου). He received his degree in Law from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (πανεπ. Θεσσαλονίκης), his degree in Political Science from the Panteion University (Πάντειο Πανεπιστήμιο), and his degree in Sociology from France (ΝΟΕ Παρισίων). As a professor, he taught political sociology and psychological warfare at the School of Police Officers (Σχολη Αξιωματικων των Σωμάτων Ασφαλείας) and the Faculty of General Education of the Hellenic Army General Staff (Σχολη Γενικής Μορφώσεως Αξιωματικων του Γενικου Επιτελείου Στρατού). Though Plevris no longer teaches in any academic institutions, he claims he was proclaimed an honorary professor of the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara (for which he claims to have written several papers on the subject of ancient Greece, although no scientific library or archive seems to have them in its listings).
In 1977, Plevris was brought up on charges of incitement of terrorist activities (bombing attacks), along with Aristotelis Kalentzis, who was accused of being the perpetrator of these acts. Plevris claimed that Kalentzis was never a member of his 4th of August Party and admitted that he informed the authorities of weapons and explosives possessed by Kalentzis. Plevris was cleared of the incitement charges, while Kalentzis was sentenced to 12 years in prison; this caused Kalentzis to write several books accusing Plevris of being a para-state agent and a snitch that framed him.
Lawsuit against Nikos Kleitsikas
Nikos Kleitsikas, in his 2000 book The Greek Student Movement in Italy, claimed that Plevris was a CIA or Mossad agent during the Cold War and participated in bombings. Plevris successfully sued Nikos Kleitsikas and the publisher of the book, Aggelos Sideratos, for libel in the summer of 2006. The Greek court of appeals vindicated him and the defendants were forced to pay 15,000 euros in compensation for the not well documented claim that Plevris organized and participated in provocative acts to pave the path for the coup d'état that brought into power the Greek military junta of 1967–1974, but the court found and accepted that the defendant proved Plevris' fascist leanings, as well as his connection with European neo-fascist terrorist groups and personalities (such as Pino Rauti and the far-right terrorist group Ordine Nuovo), his collaboration with the Greek junta and his collaboration with various secret services, based on Plevris' own statements in interviews he had given. Thus, his court victory was pyrrhic, as there is now a legal precedent that confirms his connection with all sorts of neo-fascist and terrorist groups. Also, on various occasions, Plevris has bragged about having been a collaborator of the Greek intelligence service, which was called KYP at that time.
Lawsuit over "Jews: The Whole Truth"
Konstantinos Plevris is the author of Jews: The Whole truth, an anti-semitic book containing outright praises for Adolf Hitler and calls for the extermination of Jews, published by Adonis Georgiades in June 2006. For this book Plevris was indicted by the Greek district attorney on charges of inciting racial violence.
Shortly after its publication the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and the Greek Helsinki Monitor brought a suit against Plevris for "insulting Jews" and "injury to Judaism". They also brought charges against the newspaper Eleftheros Kosmos (published by Golden Dawn party's former second-in-command Dimitris Zafeiropoulos), which published extracts of the book.
Panagiotis Dimitras of the Greek Helsinki Monitor began to visit the Public Prosecutor's Office of District Court Judges on a daily basis to push the public prosecutors for legal action against Plevris and nationalist weekly newspaper Eleftheros Kosmos, which published extracts of the book, on charges of racism. After two months, and the support of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, he eventually succeeded and so, in December 2006, Plevris was indicted for violation of Article 191 of the Penal Code, the dissemination of false news.
Several weeks later Eleftheros Kosmos and Plevris learned that they were being taken to court under the Greek Anti-Racist Law of 1979., a fact they say they were never informed of, although Plevris quoted this particular law in its entirety in his book. They held that the case should be thrown out for this reason alone, although the argument that one did not know the law is not acceptable in a Greek court of law. Both Plevris and Eleftheros Kosmos characterized the lawsuit as an attempt to suppress free speech. According to Plevris, this lawsuit had no legal basis because it was, to quote Plevris, a "violation of articles 320, 321 (paragraph 1), and 111 (paragraph 7) of the Greek Penal Code". Because this is the first time the aforementioned law has ever been used in Greek judicial history, this law is regarded as historic by both sides.
In the book, Plevris describes himself as a "Nazi, fascist, racist, anti-democrat, anti-Semite" (p. 600), subscribes to the myth of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (which he presents as authentic and valid evidence against the Jews), characterizes Jewish children in the concentration camps as "very fat" and "well-fed", claims that Jews are "subhuman" (p. 583) "mortal enemies", and criticizes the Nazis for "not ridding Europe of Jewish Zionism". In the same book, he characterizes former UN secretary Kofi Annan as "cannibal" and "descendant of cannibals" and states that Jews need to be "rounded-up and executed within 24 hours", which is "the only way they understand" (p. 742). However, Plevris contends that "Of the 1,400 pages of my large book, the condemnation encompasses only several paragraphs, of which portions were extracted, with the result that another meaning was given to the words and truth is distorted due to the alteration of phrases".
The first hearing, which was set for 5 September 2007, was postponed until 11 September 2007. The trial began on 11 September 2007 but, due to time constraints, it was again postponed, this time to 3 December 2007.
On the first court date, 150 supporters, mainly from neo-Nazi and nationalist groups, attended to show moral support for Plevris and Eleftheros Kosmos and over 200 police officers were stationed in the area out of fear that there would be clashes. However, the planned anti-fascist gathering never materialized and there were no incidents. During his trial, the following appeared to support Plevris : Christos Pasalaris and Kostas Kolmer (in addition both were also there as witnesses for the defense), Popular Orthodox Rally candidate Antonis Naxakis, Maria Tzanni, Spiros Zournatzis, Giorgos Shoinas, Giorgos Palmos. Dr. Basilis Protopappas, Popular Orthodox Rally candidates Giannis Sirros and Giannis Tsilimigras, Maria Douraki who was accompanied by four Old Calendarist clerics, Giorgos Loentaritis, Popular Orthodox Rally member Panagiotis Doumas, Vasilis Misiris.
On December 13, 2007 the court found Plevris guilty of inciting racial hatred and handed him a 14-month suspended sentence. His co-accused, the publisher, editor and a journalist of Eleftheros Kosmos were found not guilty. Plevris condemned the verdict, stating that "Jews are trying to fight me with this trial so they can shut my mouth".
Plevris appealed and was eventually acquitted on 27 March 2009; his acquittal caused a controversy as to whether the Greek justice system failed to enforce Greece's antiracist legislation.
Counter-lawsuit over "Jews: The Whole Truth"
In response to publications of Eleftherotypia's "Ios" which depicts Jews: The Whole Truth as a "Fascistic and anti-Semitic" book and Plevris as a "Fascist", Plevris launched a SLAPP-type libel suit against the newspaper for the sum of €1.2 million. All four journalists of "Ios" (Dimitris Trimis, Tasos Kostopoulos, Aggeliki Psarra, and Dimitris Psarras), editor-in-chief Serafeim Fintanidis, and the paper's published, were sued for €200,000 euros each. The official court date has not yet been set. Plevris also sued Panagiotis Dimitras of the Greek Helsinki Monitor for the sum of €200,000 as compensation for libel. The court date was set for 7 February 2008. In addition, Plevris counter-sued all seven executive members of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece for €200,000 each. The court date was set for 24 January 2008.
As a result of the entire affair, Plevris wrote a book entitled The Struggle for the Truth: The Adventure of a Book, which claimed to detail the events, controversy, and circumstances of the last 15 months of the affair.
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