Ernst Zundel denies role in Holocaust

Canadian Press/July 28, 2003
By Tara Brautigam

Toronto -- Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel told a federal court Monday that he has never advised anyone to use violence despite his reputation as a white supremacist.

Zundel was in court to determine if he should be released from custody pending a review of the security certificate that could send him back to Germany to face charges.

In an effort to prove he is not a security threat to Canada, Zundel testified that throughout the 1980s he flew between Canada and Germany several times to face charges of denying the Holocaust, and when convicted, paid a fine of 10,600 marks, or roughly $7,100 Cdn.

Despite admitting to knowing a number of Holocaust deniers and white supremacists, some of whom had violent pasts, Zundel said he never influenced them or encouraged them to use violence.

Among the group was Tom Metzger, a white supremacist leader in the United States found liable for inciting skinheads to fatally beat a teenager.

"In my knowledge I have never promoted violence," Zundel said.

Justice Pierre Blais later interrupted proceedings when it was learned that Zundel did not have access to alternative medication he was taking for a chest tumour prior to his arrest in February.

"This is a health question that has to be dealt with," Blais said.

Zundel, who says he does not take chemical drugs, was taking herbal medicine as part of ongoing cancer therapy, though it is yet to be determined whether the tumour is cancerous. Zundel has previously had cancer.

Zundel's lawyer, Doug Christie, argued that his client is an unlikely security threat because he has been the subject of violent threats himself.

Christie referred to an incident in May 1995, when Zundel received a pipe bomb in the mail only a week to 10 days after his house had been burned down.

Zundel, 64, has been in running legal skirmishes for at least a decade because of his published writings and Web site glorifying Nazism, denying the Holocaust and alleging a global conspiracy.

The solicitor general and the Immigration Department have responded by slapping Zundel with a certificate declaring him a national security threat.

Once Zundel's detention review is complete, a Federal Court judge must decide whether the security certificate, much of it based on secret evidence from the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service, is reasonable. Once that's done, the certificate becomes an immediate removal order.

But with Zundel's constitutional challenge before the courts, Christie said he intends to ask the judge for a stay of proceedings on the certificate until after the challenge is heard.

Zundel was jailed in February when he was deported to Canada from the United States, where he had moved in May 2000, for overstaying a visitor's visa. He has been in custody since.

He immediately applied for refugee status in Canada, claiming he would be persecuted if deported to Germany.

Zundel faces up to five years in a German prison on charges of suspicion of incitement of hatred.

At a court appearance in May, Zundel told court he believes he owes Hitler his life because his parents were too poor to raise a family until Hitler came to power and brought Germany "peace, honour and a place in the sun."

But he denied his international reputation as a white supremacist and advocate of violence.

The German national remains in solitary confinement at Toronto's Metro West Detention Centre.

Zundel was to undergo cross-examination Tuesday.

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