From: Paul Fromm
Sent: Wednesday, 21 September 2005 9:16 AM
Subject: Crown Squanders A Fortune on "Hate" Cases, While Violence Cases Are Starved for Funds, Peter Lindsay Tells CAFE Meeting in Toronto


Crown Squanders A Fortune on "Hate" Cases, While Violence Cases Are Starved for Funds, Peter Lindsay Tells CAFE Meeting in Toronto

Peter Lindsay, the lawyer who so masterfully represented Ernst Zundel through the latter part of his security certificate hearings told a standing room only meeting of the Canadian Association for Free Expression in Toronto, August 29, that the Courts are increasingly hostile to free speech in Canada.

Just recently, he said, a Supreme Court of Canada panel, on August 25, turned down Ernst Zundel’s application for leave to appeal in the matter of the reasonable apprehension of bias on the part of Judge Pierre Blais in his threat to national security case. “The make-up of the panel was very unfortunate,” he said. The panel consisted of the two Jews on the Supreme Court, Rosalie Abella and Mr. Justice Fish, and Mr. Justice Major.



While declining to hear from Ernst Zundel, the SCC has agreed to hear a challenge by Moroccan Adil Charkaoui. Charkaoui, like Zundel, wants to challenge the constitutionality of the national security certificates, which permit secret hearings and where the judge can allow anything as evidence.



“Charkaoui was allegedly a sleeper agent for al Qaeda,” Mr. Lindsay explained. “ Like Ernst Zundel, he was detained in solitary confinement. However, unlike Ernst Zundel, he’s been allowed out on bail. “He has politically connected people on his side, like filmmaker Denis Arcand, Alexandre Trudeau, and former NDP leader Alexa McDonough.”



Still on the case of Ernst Zundel, Canada’s most famous political prisoner, Mr. Lindsay explained: “We started a lawsuit challenging Mr. Zundel’s confinement so that Zundel is still in the court system should the legislation be overturned. This lawsuit is still outstanding,” he added.



“I was disillusioned in the Zundel case,” the lanky barrister admitted to the rapt audience of free speech supporters who had come from as far away as Belleville and Niagara Falls. “I’m a bit of an idealist. I was discouraged as court after court made silly arguments against Mr. Zundel’s appeals. Zundel was very unpopular with powerful appeal. Judge Blais ignored 99 per cent of our arguments. Blais wanted written arguments. I slaved and gave him over 100 pages. In his 40-page judgement, he ignored most of my arguments.”

“Was the fix in?’ Mr. Lindsay asked rhetorically. “I don’t know, but I’ll keep on fighting,”: he said to loud applause.

“The justice I saw in the Zundel case was the justice you’d see in China,” he charged. “In some countries, justice doesn’t depend on your arguments but on who you are and how powerful you are.”

In May 2004, Madam Justice Louise Charron, now elevated to the Supreme Court of Canada, said the Ontario XCourt of Appeals was not experience enough to decide on a constitutional challenge against the law allowing secret trials in the Zundel security certificate case. “I said: ‘You’re bright people. You can decide whether secret trials are right or not.’” But they said no. The federal court alone had the expertise to decide.

Turning to the case of Mark Elms, Mr. Lindsay pointed out the relentless nature of the Ontario justice system in prosecuting “hate” charges. Mr. Elms of Toronto “was prosecuted for the willful promotion of hate for selling skinhead music CDs at a private party, which the police raided in force without a warrant. “ Mr. Lindsay explained: “The Crown never even proved Mr. Elms had sold the CDs.” Mr. Elms was acquitted in June, 2004. “The Crown appealed, of course,” the giant of a lawyer noted. “The Crown always appeals ‘hate’ case losses.” Recently, the Appeals Court sent the case back for a new trial, saying that the Judge didn’t understand “reasonable doubt,” although this issue was never argued at trial.

Another of Mr. Lindsay’s clients is Tom Winnicki of London. The Polish Canadian activist was arrested prior to a protest outside the Metro West Detention Centre last September and charged with having dangerous weapons (a crossbow) locked in the trunk of his car. According to the London Free Press, the police are seeking the approval of the Attorney-General, “after a two year investigation to charge him with ‘hate’” for things he’s written. Yet, at the same demonstration, the pro-free speech demonstrators who had supported Ernst Zundel were attacked at Jack Astors’ Restaurant by members of the Anti-Racist Action (ARA).

Mr. Lindsay suggested that politically sexy and repressive “hate” prosecutions “get so much time and resources. Contrast that to the lack of resources for gun crimes.. The Province of Ontario recently doubled the size of its ‘hate crimes’ team by $200,000 or more.” The Crown has the time and the money to prosecute – once again, after appeals all the way to the Supreme Court – the youths who, in 1998, protested the presence of Gypsy illegals in government subsidized hotels in a case that became known as the “honk-if-you-hate-Gypsies” case, so named after one of the signs carried by the youthful protesters.

“The Crown has the time and money to prosecute again for a 30 or 40 day trial the “honk-if-you-hate-Gypsies” defendants. They have lots of money for Internet thought crimes but so little for prosecuting real acts of violence. Richard Warman goes online looking for websites to offend him and then seeks money for being offended,” he added, referring to one of Canada’s most notorious opponent of free speech on the Internet.

The Ontario Government was very harsh in denying bail to Brad Love, then offered him a deal, to plead guilty to only a few charges and get out of jail for time served (41 days), Mr. Lindsay said. Mr. Love of Mississauga had been charged for writing letters to MPPs in alleged breach of his parole conditions on hate charges that had arisen from anti-immigration letters he’d written to MPs and several senior police officers.

In the Roma case, the honk-if-you-hate-Gypsies defendants have been offered “a sweet deal – no jail time, suspended sentences, withdrawals, but a guilty plea nonetheless. Otherwise, they must be prepared to spend 30 to 40 days of trial time.” Meanwhile, he added, “serious cases of violence and sexual assault don’t get to trial” in a timely fashion and the charges are thrown out.

Human right tribunals, said Mr. Lindsay, have their own rules “and truth is no defence.” This, he insisted, “violates justice.”

In response to a question, he said of another longtime enemy of free speech in Canada: “I have no time for the Bernie Farbers [of the Canadian Jewish Congress] of this world who want to charge anyone who says things they don’t like.”

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CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR FREE EXPRESSION, Box 332, Rexdale, ON., M9W 5L3, Canada.
 

 

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