As I promised, here is an update on what happened on April 7-8 at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal hearings regarding the Zundelsite censorship attempt - where, as a result of an Ottawa-based, Federal Court of "Canada Bell Telephone versus the CHRC" decision by Madam Justice Donna McGillis, the CHR Tribunal in this case was found, as stressed by an incisive, courageous judge, to be "perceived as biased by reasonable people" - biased because of the way the legislative scheme, as it is called in legal jargon, was set up.
In other words - ***because*** of the way in which Human Rights Tribunals are set up, run and paid!
This was good news indeed - not only for Bell Canada, who saved $1.2 billion in compensation, but also Ernst.
As a consequence of this remarkable decision, Zundel defense attorney, Doug Christie, wanted the proceedings against Ernst declared quashed. Ended! Enough was enough! Said Christie in his opening blast, here summarized:
"The Tribunal sitting in judgment over my client was also chosen under the same flawed and biased legislative scheme as the one in the Bell Canada case! Thus, the judgment applies to ***every*** Tribunal chosen under the scheme! Even this Tribunal - sitting in judgment of my client, Mr. Zundel!"
The Tribunal and the Jewish intervenors, true to their style to persecute Ernst a little longer and to grub some more at the taxpayers' trough and their supporters' purses, refused to simply apply the law. In fact, even one of the Tribunal members asked one of the Jewish intervenor lawyers rhetorically: "How do we get around this judgment?" as though the law is something one should not simply apply, but instead try to circumvent.
In the end, even the CHRC suggested that the hearings be postponed until there was a court clarification, which is what eventually happened.
Here is the sequence of events:
Holocaust and anti-semitism expert, Frederick Schweizer, was scheduled to testify on April 7th. Instead, the Tribunal had to deal with a motion by Doug Christie, Ernst's lawyer, to quash the proceedings. Next, there was an urgent request by the lawyer for the CHRC for an adjournment for half an hour until a Human Rights Tribunal in Nova Scotia handed down its decision in the light of the McGillis judgment regarding a stay in their proceedings.
When the Tribunal resumed, Freiman, attorney for CHRC, informed the Tribunal that in Nova Scotia, the Tribunal had referred the matter to the Federal Court of Canada to ask for its directions and clarification in four areas: Did it have jurisdiction to continue with the hearing? Did waiver apply in the circumstances? etc. etc.
Given this result in Nova Scotia, Freiman asked the Tribunal to adjourn the Zundel hearing, pending determination of these matters in the Federal Court.
Remember that even in the opening hearings on 26th-27th of May, 1997, which I attended, Doug Christie had eloquently argued for the same scenario, namely a stay in the proceedings til a regular court - as it now turns out, the ***same*** Federal Court - had determined whether or not the CHRT had even jurisdiction to hear a case pertaining to a US-based website.
Naturally, Doug Christie immediately agreed with Freiman that there should be an adjournment until after April 20, where a Federal Court judge will look at and decide on Zundel motions to dismiss these hearings on jurisdictional, legal, and constitutional grounds.
But the Jewish intervenors were furious - alleging that if the Tribunal stopped now, it might NEVER resume, that they would NEVER again get Zundel before another Tribunal, that YEARS would go by before this issue could be "resolved" etc. etc.
One after another, they rose to vent their fury at the mere thought of an adjournment. The whole kit-and-kaboozle - the lawyers for Sabina Citron, the Canadian Holocaust Remembrance Association, the Toronto Mayor's Committee on Race and Community Relations, B'nai Brith Canada, the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre - all were of one heart and one mind in this matter! They should and would not permit Ernst Zundel to evade their clutches!
(There exists a widely published cartoon that shows Ernst brandishing his "Sword of Truth" and flashing his pamphlet "Did Six Million Really Die?" against a seven-headed hydra. It vividly comes to mind here . . . )
Doug Christie pointed out that where the Commission and the respondent, Mr. Zundel, ***both*** agreed there should be an adjournment, the intervenor Jewish organizations should not be allowed to dictate the agenda of the Tribunal - to simply carry on as if no motion to stop the proceedings had been made!
Yet they were shameless and relentless in their insistence - and you could tell that they must have known that it was Now or Never, as such "Tribunals" go!
What a movie this will eventually make - when saner times return!
Claude Pensa, the Tribunal Chairman and his two Tribunal members could not bring themselves to let go of Ernst either. They "reserved" their decision on the application for the adjournment.
Sternly, Mr. Christie was ordered to proceed - to explain his reasons why he wanted the proceedings stopped. (This way, not-too-incidentally, the powers that be got to see what Doug's arguments are going to be on April 20th . . . ). Hour after hour, he was forced to explain his reasons for his motion for a stay. Naturally thousands of additional dollars of tax payers' money were spent once again for the salaries of the Tribunal members and CHRC laywers - and, of course, this exercise in maddening futility also cost Ernst a bundle and kept Doug away from his young family!
For almost the entire two days, the arguments went back and forth about the implications of the decision of the Federal Court of Canada in the Bell Canada case . What it would mean! That it would create chaos if these Human Rights Tribunals could not sit in judgment of people like Ernst Zundel! On and on and on.
Christie argued passionately and repeatedly that the ruling ***meant*** that the hearing was void. He kept on asking: "How often do I have to tell you? - namely, that the Human Rights Tribunals had been found by a higher court, superior to a CHR tribunal, not to be impartial and independent Tribunals, that they are tainted with a reasonable apprehension of bias because of their financial ties with the CHRC etc.
"Even the Tribunal members' paychecks said CHRC!'" Madam Justice McGillis had criticized, Doug pointed out. Therefore, CHR Commission-issued guidelines and directives applied to ***all*** Tribunals - even Mr. Zundel's! - and that, therefore, argued Christie, the hearing in Ernst's case was ***also*** void.
"It should be adjourned," he said again and again. "Sine die."
The CHRC lawyers argued vehemently that the Bell Canada case need not be followed; it was not really a decision at all but strictly obiter! There were "conflicting" decisions, they claimed. And so on. Ad infinitum.
You could tell that the lawyerly meters were running. They get paid by the hour, remember? Why should they have stopped, while the meter clicking was good? Waiver applied, it was argued by lawyer after lawyer, because Zundel had not raised the issue of apprehension of bias of the Tribunal at the commencement of the hearings! He had thus forfeited his right to raise it now - at this stage of the proceedings.
Oh, no? He hadn't raised the issue of apprehension of bias?
Doug rubbed their faces in it with spirited attack after spirited attack, telling them that he had called the whole process, the entire procedure, void, right from Day One, since the Commission and its Tribunal clearly lacked jurisdiction over the Zundelsite on territorial grounds and on legal-technical grounds alone - since the Internet is not a telephone, and since the website is located in California and owned and run by Ingrid.
They argued over and over it was now too late to stop the proceedings, quoting pages and pages of old cases of decades gone by. "Tough luck!' they said. "Tough luck!"
That is a little bit like a thief saying: "Gee whiz, you didn't tell me that you were against stealing when I stole that wallet from you! Therefore, I can keep right on stealing."
The hearings had their funny moments. During one of his submissions, Freiman, one of the Jewish lawyers for the Human Rights Commission, referred to Doug Christie as "Mr Justice Christie" - a Freudian slip if ever there was one! Freiman caught himself and immediately backtracked, mightily embarrassed, apparently hardly believing he had elevated Christie to a judgeship already!
An additional moment of mirth was added by Paul Fromm who, with humor and intelligence, advised the Tribunal it should not keep having meetings after meetings after meetings just because ". . . having meetings is what you have always done!", referring to a satirical skit in a widely known film, "Meetings, Bloody Meetings" by John Cleese of Monty Python fame.
It caused a burst of laughter by many in the room, media and police included.
It wasn't funny to the Holocaust Promotion Aficionados. They were beside themselves. Each Jewish organization sent up its lawyers to argue the same thing - each stating they supported the submission of the earlier lawyers.
Said one courtroom observer drily: "They began to resemble bison huddling in a Midwestern US blizzard!"
In the end, a somber and obviously troubled Tribunal announced its decision - and adjourned to May 11, 1998.
At this point, Armstrong - the lawyer for the Canadian Holocaust Remembrance Association - shot up from his seat, incredulous, hollering: "Did I hear right? NO Tribunal hearings during the week of April 20 - 25?
"What about the evidence of Schweitzer?"
Sorry, Charlie. CHRT Chairman Pena was already on the way out. Armstrong was never even given an answer.
It was a victory for Ernst Zundel - and all of the intervenors know it!
The matter will now be heard and the facts examined by the Federal Court of Canada on April 20, 1998.
(Meanwhile, the Attorney General has served Ernst with approximately 600 pages of documents in three large volumes, on which they base a motion of their own on that day - with the aim to have Ernst's Judicial Review Application of the proceedings stopped! The Powers-That-Be fear that judicial investigation, it seems, like the devil fears the holy water! And ever more people are wondering why if all is on the up-and-up. . . .)
A furious Marvin Kurz, writing to Doug Christie for B'nai Brith, has already demanded that B'nai Brith be included in this hearing before the Federal Court - but because they are not a party in this hearing, it cannot happen - at least that's what normally would be the case.
It remains to be seen if the courts will be able to resist the pressures of the well-oiled lobby in this instance.
Meanwhile, the Zundel-Haus researchers continue to prepare for in-depth cross-examination of Schweitzer - that rhapsodical fellow who is now on record having opined that Revisionist are "notoriously unoriginal" anti-Semites - which will take place, at the earliest, on May 11, 1998. Zundel-watchers cannot wait for what is going to land in the records in the days and weeks to follow!
Says Ernst while speaking in the Modest Mode to his worldwide circle of friends: "The Hilberg-Vrba examinations will be models we will build on. Any input, suggestions and documents are welcome!"
P.S. There is a special human interest postscript to this story.
Some time ago I was informed that the Zundel legal defense team, to register their protest of being subjected to a kangaroo court misnamed a "Human Rights Tribunal", remained seated when the Inquisition made their entrance, while everybody else stood up.
Ernst had enquired of the Tribunal's secretary if the law required him to rise when the Tribunal entered or left - just like in a real court room when the judge comes in and court convenes. The lady came back a few days later with an answer: Apparently the law didn't say that they needed to!
Ernst and his team have remained seated ever since.
Every hearing starts that way - with a Zundel-style gesture - not of defiance, but to underline that Ernst believes that the Tribunal has no legal standing and no jurisdiction whatsoever to judge him! Ernst has always been respectful of tradition and legal etiquette, but a Tribunal that has no jurisdiction and refuses to examine and rule on this vital question is an illegally constituted body, in his opinion!
I thought that that story gave a poignant slant to these offensive proceedings and wanted to report it at the time, but was asked to hold off on it for a while. I never quite understood why. I thought that it would bring a lot of people to Ernst's side.
Well, now it seems that Ernst's latest press release prior to the resumption of the hearings brought a television news crew from one of Canada's largest private T.V. networks out to film inside the hearing room at the beginning of the April 8 afternoon session. Naturally, they interviewed Ernst, and in the process caught the Zundel team demonstratively remaining seated as the judges entered. The story ran on the eleven-o'clock news - to the glee of much of Canada.
Ernst hasn't seen this segment, but callers from as far away as Winnipeg and Vancouver have told him that he was shown in his old oratorial splendor, praising America for its constitutional protection of free speech and nailing Canada's hypocritical ***lip service only***to free speech. He and his two attorneys were shown remaining seated in protest - as all lawyers, spectators and the media stood in deference as the Tribunal members marched in single file - underlining their claim graphically that they do not recognize the self-bestowed jurisdiction of the Tribunal in this case.
Ever since, Zundel-Haus has been besieged with faxes and phone calls from people across Canada congratulating the Zundel team for their stand and perseverance. It seems that Mr. Zundel has many more friends than he knew.
Thought for the Day:
"As Jewish author Samuel Roth points out in his historic work, Jews Must Live, ". . . anti-Semitism is the lifeblood of the Jewish race."
Back to Table of Contents of the April 1998 ZGrams