A Canadian appeals court overturned a hate crimes conviction against an Aboriginal leader who made anti-Semitic statements.
Saskatchewan’s Court of Appeal on Monday upheld a lower court’s decision to quash the conviction and also ordered a new trial for David Ahenakew. The appeals court ruled that remarks Ahenakew made about Jews in 2002 were “shocking, brutal and hurtful,” but not criminal.
In a newspaper interview, Ahenakew had said Jews were a “disease” and that the Nazis were trying to “clean up the world” during World War II.
“That’s why he fried 6 million of those guys,” he stated, justifying why Hitler embarked on his mission of genocide. He later apologized, but in 2005 was convicted of willfully promoting hate and fined $1,000.
The Crown can retry the case, stay the charges or take the appeals court ruling to the Supreme Court of Canada.
B’nai Brith Canada and the Canadian Jewish Congress have called for the case to be appealed to the Supreme Court.