"...REASONABLE SUSPICION..." ?!

 

 

Press Release - May 12, 2003

DEPORTATION OF ZUNDEL FROM U.S. CALLED ILLEGAL

 

SEVIERVILLE, TENNESSEE (May 7, 2003) -- The United States

acted illegally to deport Ernst Zundel from his home in Tennessee,

and his case represents an abuse of executive power and will be fully

pursued in the federal courts, says his U.S. legal team.

 

Zundel is a widely-known controversial figure who was

prosecuted in Canada for "spreading false news" and whose conviction

was ultimately overturned by that country's Supreme Court in 1992.

He is now back in Canada, in prison and facing imminent deportation

to Germany as a result of his deportation from the United States in

February.

 

Canadian government officials on May 1 certified that he

poses a threat to Canada's national security, but his lead attorney

in the United States, Boyd W. Venable III, says that Zundel should

have never been taken to Canada to begin with.

 

"Zundel had been living with his wife peaceably in Tennessee

for almost three years, awaiting immigration processing," says

Venable. "He posed a threat to no one. An FBI agent had even told

him his speech was protected in the U.S."

 

Venable says that in order to try to justify Zundel's

deportation the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service had to

have either "lost" or destroyed or disregarded two separate letters

that Zundel's immigration attorney wrote to INS, while Zundel was

waiting for an interview on the petition filed for him by his wife,

United States citizen Ingrid Rimland Zundel. One of these letters

was sent U.S. "certified mail" and its receipt by INS was

acknowledged in writing. INS says it has no record of the letters

and that Zundel "abandoned" his immigration case by not appearing for

an interview, but Venable says Zundel's immigration attorney took

routine measures to have the interview rescheduled.

 

"It is hard to see this as another case of INS bungling,"

says Venable. Venable says that immigration law experts who he has

consulted with say that it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that

Zundel was targeted for his political views--"they are telling me

essentially that his immigration arrest was contrived and that the

case sets off alarm bells of national dimensions, particularly in

view of other acts being taken in the name of national security."

 

While the Canadian media have reported that Zundel was

removed from the U.S. because he "missed a hearing" or that his

"visa" had expired or that he overstayed his permitted stay, none of

those accounts are correct, says Venable. Until the day of his

arrest Zundel was recognized as lawfully present in the U.S. since he

was waiting for a duly-rescheduled interview for permanent residence,

based on his marriage.

 

Moreover, Zundel never needed a visa to enter the U.S. or

remain there, says Venable, since he had been originally admitted to

the U.S. on a "visa waiver" program applicable to German citizens,

and then in May 2000 had been waved through a border crossing at

Niagara Falls like an ordinary visa-exempt Canadian, and had never

left because of his marriage.

 

That is part of the story detailed in an appellate brief

filed by Venable with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in

mid-April. No deadline has been sent for the response of the United

States government. Venable says he received direct and indirect

assistance in the federal appeal from experienced immigration

litigators.

 

Venable says he remains shocked at what happened in February

to Zundel, who lived nearby. "With no warning whatsoever, five INS

agents and local authorities appeared at Zundel's home, arrested him

without a warrant, did not allow him to go back into the house, did

not allow him to call a lawyer, and he was deported to Canada less

than two weeks later. I didn't believe this was possible in the

United States and I still can't believe it."

 

Although he filed an emergency request for a Writ of Habeas

Corpus in federal court in Knoxville, Venable says the court

dismissed the case with a terse explanation that there were no

grounds for reviewing the INS action. Venable says that decision is

clearly incorrect, especially since there was nothing in the federal

court's file to show the judge why Zundel was being deported without

a hearing. The appeal to the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati is based on

that erroneous decision, he says.

 

Zundel's wife Ingrid (Rimland) as a child experienced

firsthand the battlegrounds of World War II in Russia and later

Germany. Her father was taken away by the Russian secret police and

she never saw him again. She fled with her family and others in her

Mennonite community to Germany and later to South America.

 

"Am I going to lose my husband for life--because he holds

politically incorrect opinions? Because he speaks and writes as his

conscience dictates?" she asks.

 

Rimland says her husband is a pacifist and a gentle man who

is trying to address the hate that has been directed at Germans since

World War II. "Can a brutal agency simply snatch my husband away

from me without an explanation? Is this still America? Is the U.S.

Constitution still in force? Is the Bill of Rights still in

operation--or is it merely a platitude? Am I back in a dictatorship

the likes of which I had tried to outrun as a child?"

 

Venable says that he and his legal team are trying to

interest the American Civil Liberties Union and other academics and

civil libertarians in the case. To date no one has stepped forward

to assist--perhaps because Zundel is such a reviled figure, he says.

Several national Jewish groups have labeled Zundel as a "Holocaust

denier" for his views on events of World War II, which include the

view that practically all of the Jews who died in concentration camps

died from illness and, toward the end of the war, from

starvation--not from gassing. Crematoria were used to dispose of

diseased corpses for public health reasons, according to Zundel.

 

Zundel has written that powerful Jewish groups have fostered

the propaganda of mass gassings and sought to repress contrary

evidence in order to serve their own post-war interests.

 

"In a free nation someone has to speak up for even the person

who has the most unpopular or politically incorrect views," states

Venable. "Zundel is not advocating violence. Regardless of whether

you agree or disagree with Zundel's views, he is supposed to have the

right to express himself without armed officers coming to his door to

take him away. We hope the Sixth Circuit will agree."

 

For further information and to update this story contact:

 

Boyd W. Venable III

Law Office of Boyd W. Venable, III

121 Commerce Street

Sevierville, TN 37864

(865) 908-3029

(865) 908-3042 (fax)

 

Ingrid Rimland Zundel

3152 Parkway, Suite 13, PMB 109

(865) 774-7756

(865) 774-7758 (fax)

 

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