A group of Israeli citizens is set to file an unprecedented criminal lawsuit in a German court against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, accusing him of Holocaust denial, harming the memory of Holocaust victims, incitement to hatred, racism, and violation of U.N. conventions and resolutions.
The submission of the lawsuit obligates Germany's chief prosecutor to launch criminal proceedings against the Iranian president, Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday.
The lawsuit was brought by a Ramat Gan lawyer and the Civil Coalition (a human rights organization working both in Israel and abroad), and submitted to the constitutional court in Karlsruhe court, considered the strongest constitutional court in Europe.
The lawsuit was submitted in the wake of a series of statements made by the Iranian president where he denied the Holocaust and incited hatred against Israel.
The Israelis behind the lawsuit decided to submit it in Germany due to its tough anti-Holocaust denial laws, passed in 1993, which ban
the direct and indirect denial of the Holocaust, as well as the harming of the memory of the dead."
Germany upholds these laws stringently, and German citizens have in the past served jail time due to violations, such as the German neo-Nazi who said in an interview that the Holocaust did not happen. Citizens who claimed that "Jews were not killed by gas," and that "in total, thousands, not millions of Jews were murdered" have been sentenced to jail.
Claims of freedom of speech by defendants did not benefit them.
The lawsuit notes that criminal proceedings against Ahmadinejad have not been initiated anywhere the world, and that the chances that such a procedure would be launched in Iran is slim.
Meanwhile, the plaintiffs hired the services of a German public relations firm in a bid to initiate a media campaign that would place the matter firmly on the agenda.