Court laughs at cartoonist’s trial

Acknowledging that the case it was examining was «daft,» an Athens appeals court yesterday cleared an Austrian cartoonist of committing blasphemy by publishing a humorous take on the life of Christ. In a decision earlier this year that sparked considerable derision in Greece and abroad, a lower court gave Gerhard Haderer a six-month suspended sentence for producing the book, which portrayed the founder of Christianity as a marijuana-smoking, boozing, philandering surfer. The book, which was translated into Greek in 2002, was banned. But yesterday’s decision allows «The Life of Christ» to be openly sold again, after judges unanimously adopted the prosecutor’s recommendation for Haderer to be cleared, as the case in question was «daft,» and there was no indication the cartoonist had evil intentions, or that such books posed any threat to anyone.

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