Refugee hearing set for next week; Government fears Zundel would be a no show
Canadian Press, May 9, 2003
MARLENE HABIB, CANADIAN PRESS
White supremacist Ernst Zundel should remain in detention until court determines if the self-professed “guru to the new right” is a security threat and should be deported to Germany, a federal government lawyer told a review hearing today.
Toby Hoffmann said the government fears Zundel won’t appear at a hearing next week to review his status as a security threat because Zundel has demonstrated a lack of respect for human rights bodies and has a tendency to “flout” authorities.
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As well, said Hoffmann, Zundel clearly has no desire to return to Germany.
“He fashions himself as a dissident to that state (Germany). There are reasonable grounds to believe he’s a threat to national security,” Hoffmann told Justice Pierre Blais.
“Although Mr. Zundel may not personally engage in acts of violence, he is a figurehead, a patriarch and he uses his position to inspire others to the white supremacist ideology.”
An overflowing courtroom saw Zundel first in an enclosed prisoner’s box but his lawyer, Doug Christie, asked that Zundel be allowed to sit behind him, which the judge allowed.
Hoffmann referred to papers filed in Federal Court outlining Zundel’s numerous links with white supremacist groups and leaders, including William Pierce, an American whose novel The Turner Diaries was credited with influencing Oklahoma city bomber Timothy McVeigh.
Hoffmann noted that Zundel’s potentially dangerous influences were evident as recently as April 1, when he appeared at an immigration hearing in Niagara Falls, Ont. Zundel referred to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler as “the great one” at that hearing.
Zundel’s attempt to gain refugee status in Canada was thwarted at the hearing after he was issued with a national security certificate.
Christie was to begin arguing his case, which contends that keeping Zundel in detention as a security threat is unconstitutional, today.
The Federal Court documents, based on evidence provided by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, also say Zundel is a flight risk who must be held in detention until he can be deported.
He had been in detention in Niagara Falls since Feb. 19, after being booted out of Tennessee because of U.S. immigration violations.
The security certificate process provides for virtually unlimited detention until a person has been deported or a judge strikes it down.
Zundel, 64, lived in Canada for 42 years before leaving the country. He failed to win citizenship because of legal skirmishes related to his published writings and Web site glorifying Nazism, denying the Holocaust and alleging a global Jewish conspiracy.
If deported to Germany, he faces charges on suspicion of incitement of hate.