----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, November 27, 2003 12:05 AM
Subject: Zundel loses bid to be released from prison
TORONTO — Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel has lost his bid to be released from prison while his immigration case is heard.
Zundel's lawyers had argued in Superior Court that his continued detention was a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and also challenged the validity of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Mary Lou Benotto ruled Tuesday in favour of the Crown, which had sought a stay of proceedings on the grounds the matter should be dealt with in Federal Court.
Zundel's lawyer, Peter Lindsay, said his client is disappointed with the decision.
All Canadians should be concerned that the Immigration and Refugee Act allows people to be "incarcerated in solitary confinement for months or years without ever being accused of a crime,'' Lindsay said in a statement late Tuesday.
In her decision Tuesday, Benotto wrote: "This court declines jurisdiction and grants the Crown's motion.
"The application here is an attempt to bypass the comprehensive statutory scheme and usurp a process currently underway,'' said Benotto. "The applicant has not met the test to have this court assume jurisdiction and it would be inappropriate to do so.''
Zundel, who has no criminal record in Canada and is not facing any charges, has been in solitary confinement since February after being deported to Canada for overstaying a visitor's visa in the United States.
He is being held in jail on a security certificate while the courts determine whether he is a security risk to Canada and should be deported to his native Germany.
The detention review to determine whether Zundel, 64, is a risk to Canadian security is scheduled to resume Dec. 10.
When he was jailed in February, Zundel applied for refugee status in Canada. He was denied release by the Immigration and Refugee Board three times before Ottawa suspended the application May 2, one day after the security certificate was issued.
Zundel, who has lived in Canada since 1958, fled to Tennessee to be with his wife before a January 2002 ruling by the Canadian Human Rights Commission that a website he controls spreads anti-Semitic messages.
He remains in solitary confinement at Toronto's Metro West Detention Centre.
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2003 Adelaide Institute