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Last Updated: Monday, 9 May 2005, 16:12 GMT 17:12 UK
Swedish court reviews 'hate' case
Pastor Ake Green
Pastor Ake Green: Testing Sweden's tough hate crimes legislation
Sweden's Supreme Court has said it will review the acquittal of a Pentecostal pastor who denounced homosexuality as "a deep cancer" in a sermon.

Ake Green was convicted of hate crimes in June 2004 and given a 30-day suspended prison sentence.

But then an appeals court in February threw out the case, saying it was not illegal to offer an interpretation of the Bible and urge others to follow it.

Mr Green was the first priest convicted under Sweden's new hate crimes law.

'Hate speech'

Passed in 2003, the legislation covers attacks against homosexuals.

Sweden's chief prosecutor said that in his view, Mr Green's comments did amount to hate speech, and so he was seeking a review.

In a sermon, Mr Green told a congregation on the small south-eastern island of Oland that homosexuals were "a deep cancer tumour on all of society".

He warned that Sweden risked a natural disaster because of its tolerance of homosexuality.

"Homosexuality is something sick," Mr Green said, comparing it to paedophilia and bestiality.

He said gays were likely to rape children and animals.

The Supreme Court has not yet given any date for the new trial.

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