NEWS

Aristoteli mayor to file suit against Independent Greeks leader over lynching comment

The mayor of the northern Greek municipality of Aristoteli, Christos Pachtas, said on Tuesday that he will be filing a lawsuit against Panos Kammenos, leader of the nationalist Independent Greeks party, after the latter made comments suggesting that residents of Halkidiki in northern Greece should “lynch” the mayor for backing a gold mine in the region of Skouries.

Kammenos is to be investigated by a Thessaloniki prosecutor to determine whether he was inciting others to commit a criminal act - an offense that could result in him receiving a three-year prison sentence - when he told protesters in Thessaloniki who complained that their drinking water had been contaminated by the Skouries gold mine: “Pachtas should not be able to walk freely. You should lynch him.”

On Tuesday, Pachtas was reportedly considering filing a suit against the Independent Greeks leader, the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency (AMNA) said.

"It is unconscionable for the leader of a party in Parliament to urge the nullification of the essence of democracy, which is respect for the rule of law and dealing with problems through dialogue," Pachtas was quoted by the AMNA as saying. "Inviting citizens to commit a crime is beyond all else a huge moral and political issue."

Kammenos refused to retract his comments Monday, saying he would hand himself in to a prosecutor if a probe into the environmental impact of the gold mine is launched first.

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