An Athens court on Tuesday served Golden Dawn parliamentary candidate Alexandros Plomaritis a one-year suspended sentence for inciting racist violence.
The trial against Plomaritis was based on footage from a documentary on the rising popularity of Golden Dawn in which the candidate, followed for a month during his 2012 pre-election campaign, is seen railing against foreign migrants in Greece and leftists.
“We are ready to open the ovens. We will turn them into soap but we may get a rash… We will make lamps from their skin,” Plomaritis says while sitting a cafe in a central part of Athens, talking with party supporters.
Constantinos Georgousis, a film student at the time, shot the footage for his documentary “The Cleaners,” parts of which were broadcast on the UK’s Channel 4 in March 2013.
“If they’re dark we’ll lighten them… we’ll whiten them with kicks,” Plomaritis says in the documentary, while looking on as a Pakistani man pushes a shopping trolley filled with scrap metal.
The ultranationalist candidate for central Athens argued that his references to ovens and soap were directed at leftists and not migrants. He also claimed that his statements were made in the context of a private conversation between friends. “We were joking around,” he said.
Testifying for the prosecution, Georgousis said that all parties featured in his documentary were aware that the film was meant for public viewing and that none of the conversations shown in the footage were recorded without the subjects’ prior consent.
According to reports from the court, the filmmaker said that the 20 hours of footage he shot contains much more violent scenes, such as Golden Dawn members kicking a Pakistani man, which were edited.
Plomaritis’s sentence was suspended for three years.