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Toronto, Canada, Thursday, Oct 21, 2004


Blais guilty of dispensing 'secret justice,' lawyers for Holocaust denier assert

Judge accused of 'misguided approach' in Zündel case

By Kirk Makin

HOLOCAUST denier Ernst Zündel's lawyers have accused a Federal Court judge of running an error-plagued deportation hearing that "cheapens and degrades" the justice system.

In scathing arguments that took them into terrain where few lawyers have dared to tread, defence lawyers Peter Lindsay and Chi-Kun Shi accused Mr. Justice Pierre Blais of actively embracing the secrecy of Canada's anti-terrorism law.

Zündel with former lawyer Doug ChristieThe federal government has invoked the law's security-certificate procedure in an attempt to deport Mr. Zündel as a threat to national security.

The lawyers said that what they called Judge Blais's "misguided and unchecked" approach to national security has meant that Mr. Zündel -- whom they described as a long-time pacifist with no criminal record -- has been plunged into an 18-month ordeal of solitary confinement and legal unfairness.

They said Judge Blais seems unable "to even understand simple submissions," and that a colossally unfair proceeding has devastated Mr. Zündel's right to fairness and brought the justice system into disrepute.

Evidence in security-certificate proceedings is presented to the judge in secrecy and not revealed to the defence.

"Maybe no one cares, because this is only the notorious and reviled Ernst Zündel," Mr. Lindsay and Ms. Shi said in a written submission. "But it is not only Ernst Zündel. The apparent approach of the court in this case cheapens and degrades all participants in this important part of our system of justice -- and our system of justice itself. Mr. Zündel is thus at the mercy of a secret proceeding and of the judge conducting it.

"Secret justice, dispensed in the way it has been in this case, is no justice at all. It is Mr. Zündel's plea that this court look at the mistakes it has made and change its approach with respect to this matter, in order to appear more even-handed and fair."

The defence attack was the culmination of steadily mounting frustration in the courtroom. Mr. Lindsay and Judge Blais have had repeated testy exchanges in recent months, usually over Mr. Lindsay's right to call or cross-examine witnesses.

The defence has tried twice to have Judge Blais -- a onetime solicitor-general of Canada -- recuse himself. An appeal of his refusals will be heard next month in the Federal Court of Appeal.

Mr. Lindsay argued in court yesterday that the proceeding is a perversion of what the security-certificate legislation was intended to do, that is, to roust out genuine terrorists who could wreak havoc on the country.

Mr. Lindsay said the secrecy provisions have allowed government lawyers to produce next to no evidence in the public segments of the hearing. Meanwhile, behind closed doors, he said, they have inevitably trotted out a melange of hearsay and baseless accusations that cannot be challenged.

"The public case is non-existent," Mr. Lindsay said. "It is devoid of evidence. It is an ocean of innuendo and implied involvement of Mr. Zündel in inspiring other people to commit acts of violence or terrorism -- without ever providing any proof . . .

"The public case goes far beyond guilt by association," he continued. "It is guilt by contact. I don't say this easily, but it makes McCarthyism look reasonable."

Mr. Lindsay said that Judge Blais has heard persuasive evidence that, far from inciting young hotheads of the far right to engage in violence, Mr. Zündel has denounced violence and condemned those who indulge in it.

He said that Mr. Zündel has built his life around peacefully arguing that the Holocaust has been exaggerated, resulting in the unfair vilification of the German people.

Otherwise, Mr. Lindsay said, his client lived a blameless life in Canada for 42 years, never producing a single pamphlet or newsletter that advocated violence.

"According to the Crown, Mr. Zündel apparently woke up one morning in 1990 and became a terrorist," Mr. Lindsay said. "Here is this great purveyor of literature who distributes material all over the world, yet they can't come up with one [item] showing him advocating violence."

Mr. Lindsay said there is great irony in Mr. Zündel having repeatedly become the victim of violence. He said that his client's home was vandalized and ultimately burned down. Mr. Zündel has also been attacked outside the courthouse and received any number of death threats and letter bombs, Mr. Lindsay said.

The case has adjourned until early November.

Supreme Court rejects appeal of Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel

Canadian Press

Thursday, October 21, 2004

OTTAWA -- The Supreme Court of Canada won't be hearing Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel's latest constitutional appeal.

Zündel, who has been in jail for 18 months facing deportation, challenged the constitutional validity of the security certificate review process under which he was declared inadmissible to Canada.

That review is currently continuing in Federal Court in Toronto, where Justice Pierre Blais has been hearing evidence -- much of it in secret -- for more than a year.

But Zündel's lawyers took their constitutional complaint outside the Federal Court last fall.

They argued that the security certificate, which allows for secretive trials where evidence can be shielded from the public and even the defendant for national security reasons, breaches the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

An Ontario Superior Court judge dismissed the case, finding that Zündel's application was simply an end-run around the Federal Court and an attempt to "usurp" the legislated process.

Ontario's court of appeal concurred, adding that the Federal Court had the "expertise and experience" to deal with Zündel's constitutional argument.

Zündel appealed to the Supreme Court, but the high court announced Thursday it won't hear the case.

As is usual in leaves to appeal, no reasons where given for the Supreme Court rejection.

Zündel, 65, faces deportation to his native Germany if Blais finds the security certificate was issued on reasonable grounds.

Zündel is being held in a Toronto jail under the controversial anti-terrorism measure, enacted by the federal government following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States.

© Canadian Press 2004

SANS fournir la moindre raison, la Cour suprême du Canada vient de rendre aujourd'hui même, 21 octobre, sa décision: elle refuse tout simplement d'examiner la constitutionnalité de la loi sur les "certificats de sécurité". Cette loi, comme on le sait, confie le sort du prévenu à un juge et un seul, dont la décision est irrévocable, et qui tient avec le parquet des séances à huis clos auxquelles n'assistent ni le prévenu ni son avocat et dont le contenu ne peut donc pas être réfuté par ces derniers puisqu'ils l'ignoren.

Zündel's address:

Ernst Zündel, Toronto West Detention Centre, 111 Disco Road, Box 4950, Rexdale, Ontario, M9W 1M3 (Canada)



Our dossier on the Ernst Zündel case
CSIS intercepted Zündel's mail, ex-agent says | Closing arguments begin in Zündel deportation case: Zündel defence based on age draws scorn | Defence closing: Zündel's followers bookish seniors, not violent skinheads, lawyer says
Ernst Zündel is entitled to a hearing to challenge his deportation to Canada, a federal appeals court says
Who is Ernst Zündel and Why Is He in Jail?
Some Good News in the Zündel Case

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