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Right-wing party leader appeals racial hatred ruling

Norman Lowell, leader of the right-wing Imperium Europa party, yesterday filed a 64-page appeal from his March 27 conviction of inciting racial hatred and insulting the President of Malta.

Speaking outside the courts, Mr Lowell said he would restore Malta to the paradise in the Mediterranean it once was in the 1800s. He added that "he would make all the Europids, all one billion of them, come to Malta on a pilgrimage to see the temples". His lawyer, Emmy Bezzina, said they had received messages of support from all over the world.

On March 27, Mr Lowell was given a two-year jail term suspended for four years and fined €500 (Lm214.59). He was found guilty of inciting racial hatred in Rabat on April 3, 2006, in St Paul's Bay in May of the same year and in an internet article entitled Coming Cataclysmic Crises, between December 2003 and March 2006. He was also found guilty of insulting President Eddie Fenech Adami in Qawra in May 2006.

Dr Bezzina said the comprehensive appeal document gave 23 reasons why the judgment should be revised and if possible reversed. Fourteen raise the possibility of the judgment being revoked because, Dr Bezzina argued, "we believe there are varying factors that nullify the judgment". The rest of the submissions tackle the prospect that the judgment could be changed.

When asked what would happen if the appeal did not go their way, Dr Bezzina said he was willing to take the case to the European courts if need be.

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