TORONTO (Jun. 15)
Ontario Attorney General Ian Scott has promised a swift retrial for neo-Nazi propagandist Ernst Zundel, whose 1985 conviction for spreading false propaganda was overturned by the Ontario Court of Appeals earlier this year on technical ground Scott made his announcement after Canada’s Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by the Ontario government against the reversal.
Scott said Zundel will be tried again for the same offense. He received a 15-month prison sentence for violating a section of the Criminal Code which bars spreading “false news.” German-born Zundel, 48, was found guilty of publishing and distributing booklets denying the Holocaust occurred.
Free on bail pending the outcome of his appeal, Zundel won a victory when a five-judge panel quashed his conviction because of alleged irregularities in jury selection and introduction of certain evidence.
Scott acknowledged that he faced a painful choice after the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear his appeal. A new trial will expose the public and Holocaust survivors to an agonizing emotional experience and provide Zundel with a platform. But dropping the case would allow the Nazi to claim he was vindicated.
David Satok, vice president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, said Scott made the right decision. He pledged the CJC would do whatever it can to help the Ontario government in the new trial.
B’nai B’rith Canada, at its 24th annual convention in Kiamesha Lake, N.Y., commended the Ontario government for its decision to retry Zundel and urged that the court serve judicial notice at the outset of the new trial that would establish the Holocaust as an historical and documented fact.
Scott told reporters, it “will, of course, be up to you, the people who are the press, to determine to what extent Zundel will be given publicity.”