Toronto judge casts doubt on Zundel’s story

Doesn’t believe wife runs hate Web site
National Post (Canada), July 30, 2003
Adrian Humphreys, National Post

TORONTO – The Federal Court of Canada judge weighing the government’s declaration that Ernst Zundel is a threat to national security said yesterday he could not always believe the Holocaust denier ‘s sworn statements.

“I don’t really believe what you say,” Justice Pierre Blais said during Mr. Zundel’s testimony from the witness box at his detention review hearing.

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“I’m not talking about everything, I’m talking about the last part of it,” he said, referring to Mr. Zundel’s statements on who has control over the contents of the Zundelsite, a controversial Web site documenting Mr. Zundel’s beliefs and legal struggles.

Donald MacIntosh, the lead federal lawyer handling the government’s case, was questioning Mr. Zundel on material on the site that was found to be virulently anti-Semitic by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.

Mr. Zundel insisted his wife, Ingrid Rimland, who lives in the United States, runs the site and she alone has the authority and password to change its contents; he rarely even views the site because he is computer illiterate, he said.

“We are talking about a human relationship with a very forceful lady,” Mr. Zundel said.

Mr. MacIntosh, however, said it was difficult to understand how Mr. Zundel, who earlier told court he was an egotist, would allow a site to be run in his name without having input.

“Given that you claim to be a gift to this world and have a tremendous ego, you would be consulted on a regular basis as to the materials that appear on the Zundelsite,” Mr. MacIntosh said to Mr. Zundel.

“I’m not a shrink. You tell me,” Mr. Zundel replied, adding that he is growing weary of being blamed for the site’s content. “Eventually, I might have to start running my own, that I have control of,” he said.

The frank statements of Judge Blais, who has heard days of testimony in the long case as well as received secret evidence from the government under the unusual rules regarding national security certificate cases, surprised the court.

“This is my duty pursuant to this review, to make findings from the evidence presented,” Judge Blais said. “I have said for the record, I don’t believe everything I’ve heard from the witness regarding this. On this particular point, I don’t believe the witness,” he said.

The government says Mr. Zundel is a figurehead or patriarch for the violent white supremacist movement. Mr. Zundel has denied being a racist, saying he was merely “race-conscious.” He also said he preached non-violence as a means to political change.

Mr. Zundel was declared a security threat and ordered deported after he claimed refugee status in February when he was deported to Canada from the United States for overstaying his visitor’s visa. He had lived in Canada for decades before moving to the U.S. in 2001, but did not gain citizenship here.

The Canadian government plans to deport Mr. Zundel to his native Germany where he faces a charge of inciting hatred.

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