PARIS (Apr. 25)
The official bulletin of the Soviet Embassy was found guilty here yesterday of “incitement to racial hatred” and “racial defamation” for anti-Semitic material it printed in its Sept. 1972 Issue.
The bulletin, “The Review of Soviet Information Services,” was also fined 1500 francs ($650) and a one franc (20 cents) symbolic damage payment to the plaintiff, the International League Against Anti-Semitism (LICA). Presiding Judge Simone Rozes ordered the judgement to be published in six newspapers to be chosen by the plaintiffs and paid for by the defendants.
The court had recessed for three weeks to consider the case after hearing witnesses and pleas from plaintiffs and defense on March 26. Among witnesses heard was former French Senate President Gaston Monerville who told the court that in his view the anti-racist legislation which he introduced in Parliament “applied to the case in both spirit and letter.”
Another witness, French Chief Rabbi Jacob Kaplan, told the court, “Never since Nazi days have I seen such hate propaganda published in France.”
The witnesses were referring to claims by the Soviet bulletin that “According to fundamental conceptions (of the Bible), the world should belong to the followers of the powerful God Jehovah.” Another passage said “According to the rules (of the Talmud and the Torah), entire generations of Israelis have been inculcated from the cradle with hatred of other nations.”
The court rejected at the time a plea by the defendants that the publication was covered by the Soviet Embassy’s diplomatic immunity. Judge Rozes said at the time that “The Review” was registered as a French publication and was thus subject to all normal legislation.