NEWS

Academic on trial for spreading misinformation on Covid vaccines

Academic on trial for spreading misinformation on Covid vaccines

A professor of clinical pharmacology and a vocal critic of coronavirus containment measures went on trial in the northern port city of Thessaloniki on Tuesday for disseminating misinformation regarding the Covid-19 vaccine.

Aristotle University’s Dimitris Kouvelas was put under investigation and indicted last year after making claims online indicating that a prominent government official’s health problems were a result of his being vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2.

In these claims, Kouvelas said that former deputy civil protection minister – and one of the top government officials in the fight against the pandemic – Nikos Hardalias should take the National Organization for Medicines (EOF) to task for approving the coronavirus vaccine, which, he indicated, contributed to the heart attack he suffered in August 2021.

The academic, who has gained widespread popularity among anti-vaxxers for his outspoken and often vulgar criticism of Covid restrictions and vaccine mandates, was indicted under new legislation aimed at stemming the dissemination of “fake news.”

In one comment in August 2020, Kouvelas had said that a woman would be more at risk of being groped than catching Covid if she came in close proximity to him.

Several protesters gathered outside the Thessaloniki courthouse to express their support for him on Tuesday.