Greek far-right lawmaker is convicted for hate speech

A court in Athens has sentenced a far-right lawmaker to six months in prison for using hate speech against immigrants and inciting supporters to violence.

The court Thursday convicted Ilias Kasidiaris, spokesman for the extreme-right Golden Dawn party, following a speech posted online in 2011 by supporters. In it, he refers to immigrants as "human garbage" and called on residents in a low-income area near Athens to take direct action against foreign criminals.

The sentence was suspended for three years. The 36-year-old politician said he was "standing up for Greeks ... neglected by the state" and described the conviction as part of a politically orchestrated attack on his party.

Golden Dawn, founded as a neo-Nazi party in early 1980s, came third in Greece's last general election.