Vasso Morali appeals conviction in defamation case against Archbishop Makarios

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Well-known Greek Australian journalist Vasso Morali has appealed a Greek court’s decision to sentence her to 11 months imprisonment with a three-year suspension due to her online defamatory slander and insult of Greek Orthodox Archbishop Makarios of Australia.

Ms Morali was sentenced by the Tripartite Misdemeanour Court of Kavala on Tuesday, June 18. She said in a post on Facebook that she appealed the conviction in the hopes she will get a fairer trial in the Thrace Court of Appeals.

The defamation case between Ms Morali and Archbishop Makarios concerned posts made by the journalist on Facebook four years ago. They were in relation to the production of a documentary tribute to the late Archbishop Stylianos, as well as public allegations against Archbishop Makarios about a series of financial and moral issues.

The conviction against Ms Morali has been welcomed by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia (GOAA) in a statement released on Tuesday, July 2.

Archbishop Makarios of Australia welcomed the court’s decision.

“This decision, as a first-degree jurisdiction of the Greek Courts, not only restores the severe and unethical insult suffered by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios but also sends a message in many directions that any reprehensible act cannot be without consequences,” the statement reads.

This is not the only defamation case Archbishop Makarios is taking to the courts. The Archbishop has also filed lawsuits in Greece and Australia against:

  • The ecclesiastical website Exapsalmos/exapsalmos.gr and its head Sotiris Tzoumas, for “defamation” and “insult to personality” with a claim for compensation amounting to 250,000 euros;
  • Athens lawyer (and nephew of the late Archbishop Stylianos of Australia) Nikolaos D. Kalliouris, also for “defamation,” with a claim for compensation amounting to 300,000 euros; and
  • Greek journalist Alkis Morelas for a series of publications about the works Archbishop Makarios and his associates.

READ MORE: Decoding defamation: Analysis of Archbishop Makarios vs. ‘Orthodoxos Typos’

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