TORONTO (Jul. 15)
A 29-year-old self-styled Nazi has pleaded guilty and apologized in court for using abusive language toward Jews in a city park more than two years ago. John Beattle was fined $50 or ten days in jail and was allowed one month to pay, ending a case that had followed a tortuous legal course that took it as high as Canada’s Supreme Court. The maximum penalty for the offense is a $300 fine. Charges were brought against Beattie for violating a city parks code that forbids the use of loud or abusive language. On May 5, 1969, at a neo-Nazi meeting in Toronto’s Allen Gardens, he harangued against Jews, Zionists, Israel and its Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol. The case moved slowly through municipal and provincial courts. At one point a court of appeals held that the city’s bylaw was invalid because it interfered with freedom of speech which is under federal jurisdiction. But that finding was overruled by the Canadian Supreme Court which referred the case back to the original city magistrate, Tupper Bigelow. In court several days ago, Beattie dismissed his lawyer. He admitted his language had been abusive but that he had “naively” thought he had a right to say such things. Now, said Beattie, he wanted to apologize to any persons or people he had offended.