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Thursday, February 10, 2005

Jesus cartoonist 'jailed'

A cartoonist who portrayed Jesus as a pot-smoking hippy has been sentenced to six months in prison by a Greek court.

Austrian Gerhard Haderer's comic book The Life of Jesus shows the son of God crossing the Sea of Galilee naked on a surfboard.

It depicts the Last Supper as a drinking binge and the late Jimi Hendrix as a heavenly friend of Jesus.

The cartoonist, who did not attend the hearing, described the Greek court ruling as "absolutely scandalous".

Publisher Fritz Panzer said: "After all, Greece is a member of the European Union and, so you would think, not a religious state, in which an artist's freedom of expression is kicked to the ground."

Haderer's lawyers have appealed against the sentence which can only be imposed if Haderer travels to Greece.

The book cannot be sold in Greek shops until legal proceedings have been completed.

The case against Haderer was started after the Greek Orthodox Church submitted a complaint when the volume first appeared in Greece in February 2003.

At the time Athens public prosecutors ordered all copies of the book to be seized.

posted by DW  # 1:53 PM


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