Israeli attorney sues Ahmadinejad

Hopes case, filed in Germany, would result in arrest warrant for Iranian pres.

ahmadinejad 298 AP (photo credit: AP)
ahmadinejad 298 AP
(photo credit: AP)
Israeli attorney Eran Shahar, representing a group called the Civil Coalition, filed a lawsuit against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday at Germany's constitutional court, charging Ahmadinejad with incitement and Holocaust denial. The lawsuit was enabled by a 2005 law that permits filing international cases at the German court, even when Germany is not involved in the case. Another law, passed in 1993, forbids Holocaust denial; Shahar said that law has been strictly enforced since its inception. In an Israel Radio interview, Shahar stated that he hoped the case might result in international warrants for Ahmadinejad's arrest, thus preventing the Iranian president from entering the United States or Europe. Shahar noted that the outcome of the judicial process was not as important as the possibility of embarrassing the Iranian president. He argued that Germany was the best country to file the suit since it was the "most influential European state," and since Ahmadinejad mentioned it as one of the states that ought to provide a home for the Jews in place of Israel. Shahar noted that the group he represents didn't appeal to the International Court in the Hague because they considered it to be powerless. The attorney welcomed any Jewish or human rights group, or other prospective plaintiffs, to join the suit. In recent months Ahmadinejad has made highly incendiary comments against Israel, provoking widespread international condemnation. The statements included a call to "wipe Israel off the map" as well as a demand for an investigation into the accuracy of the historical description of the Holocaust, which Ahmadinejad denied ever occurred. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was among the most vociferous objectors to Ahmadinejad's provocations, calling them "unspeakable," and saying that Germany could never tolerate such statements.