Supreme Court to review pastor's hate crime case

Stockholm, Sweden - Sweden's Supreme Court said Monday it will review the acquittal of Pentecostal pastor Ake Green, who faced criminal charges over a sermon on homosexuality.

An appeals court in February threw out a hate crimes conviction against Green, saying it's not illegal to preach a personal interpretation of the Bible.

But Sweden's chief prosecutor Fredrik Wersaell appealed to the Supreme Court, contending that Green violated Sweden's tough 2003 hate crimes law.

A lower court gained international attention last year when it punished Green with a 30-day prison sentence, which was then suspended pending appeal. He was the first clergyman convicted under Sweden's hate crimes law.

Green, 63, had told his congregation on the small southeastern island of Oland that homosexuals are "a deep cancer tumor on all of society" and warned that Sweden risked a natural disaster because of leniency toward gays.

"Homosexuality is something sick," Green said, comparing it to pedophilia and bestiality. He said gays were likely to rape children and animals.

When he was acquitted, Green told The Associated Press he wasn't worried about spending a month in jail but about "freedom to preach God's word."