(JTA) — The case of a Maltese European Union official accused of shouting anti-Semitic hate speech at an EU employee and assaulting her has come to trial two years after the incident occurred.
EU administrator Stefan Grech in September 2015 allegedly beat a senior employee, an Italian woman, over the head with a plaque commemorating Italian dictator Benito Mussolini while calling her “a dirty Jew” and saying “Hitler should have finished off the Jews.” He also reportedly had made comments about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
A complaint against him was filed at the time with Brussels police by the Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism, or LBCA.
Grech was not present at a preliminary hearing this week, LBCA head Joel Rubinfeld told the Times of Malta, leading the judge to say that it showed a lack of respect toward the courts.
In an interview with the Times of Malta, Grech denied the account of the incident in the complaint. He was not suspended from his job over the incident. Grech also said the case had affected him so much he had taken several months of sick leave and sought counseling from a psychologist.
“There was an incident. I had too much to drink and got into an argument, but I am no racist and I did not lash out in the way that is being alleged,” he said.
Rubinfeld told the newspaper that the incident had been captured on a surveillance camera and that journalists were in possession of the tape.