Zundel Bail Hearing - Day 3 -
Judge Charged With Bias
From Ingrid Rimland

Good Morning from the Zundelsite:
I talked to Ernst last night. I quote from memory:
"Today, it was high drama. It was like in the olden days. [Defense attorney] Doug Christie was at his best. He asked the judge to recuse himself for bias. That took real courage - for a lawyer to tell a judge he is biased. Doug's performance today was awesome."
When I asked if a decision regarding bail had been made, Ernst said: "Of course not. The government lawyer just keeps on smearing me. It's character assassination, as always."
Here is a report from the Zundel Bail Hearings: Day 3
By Paul Fromm
B.C. lawyer, Douglas H. Christie electrified a Toronto Federal Courtroom Wednesday when he rose and made a motion calling on Judge Pierre Blais to recuse himself for bias. Mr. Christie said that Blais' comments Tuesday where he said he did not believe Ernst Zundel did not control the Zundelsite showed a hostility to the German-born publisher that prejudiced the trial.
On Tuesday, Judge Blais had said: "Do you think for a minute that I'm going to believe that you have no control over the web site. A web site is like a book."
A visibly-upset Doug Christie had risen and objected, "I object. A web site is not like a book. It can change three times or more a day. It can change in a keystroke".
As the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act is written, Christie said, "No right of judicial review exists. In normal trials, a judge's interruption of cross examination can be supervised by the Court of Appeals but not under this legislation."
"Your Lordship has entered into the arena and displayed hostility to the accused on numerous occasions. You intervened in cross examination to demonstrate open hostility to Mr. Zundel," Mr. Christie said.
"You said repeatedly you did not believe Mr. Zundel regarding the ownership of the Zundelsite, but this is a bail hearing," Mr. Christie argued. "You've not heard evidence of the owner of the web site. Before you have heard from Ingrid Rimland, the owner of the web site, you called Ernst Zundel a liar. To a reasonable [word missing], it would seem that the decision in this trial has already been made," Christie said. In the mind of a reasonable observer, this would create a apprehension of hostility and bias."
"Your statement regarding disbelief in Mr. Zundel's word was far broader. You said: 'The more you talk, the less I believe you.'"
"I point out until all the evidence is heard, judgment as to credibility must be suspended," said Christie.
Referring to the book, The Hitler We Loved and Why, Judge Blais had interrupted and questioned Ernst Zundel, "Come on, Mr. Zundel, you put this book together."
"However," Mr. Christie said, "Mr. Zundel had testified Mr. Eric Thompson had put this book together," and Mr. Zundel had simply supplied the photographs.
"How does this book have anything to do with the security of Canada?" Mr. Christie demanded. "It is at worst opinion. Mr. Zundel should not be on trial for his opinion."
Under the Immigration Act in there, where a person is the subject of a Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) threat to national security certificate, a judge reviewing the reasonableness of this certificate is his one and only hearing. "You are the court of last resort, the court of appeal in this matter," Mr. Christie argued. "It must, therefore, be demonstrable to all people that there is no apprehension of bias. Mr. Zundel is faced with instant deportation. The consequences for him are very severe," Canada's Battling Barrister warned.
Mr. Christie said that Judge Blais' bias "is contrary to fundamental justice. A reasonable observer would conclude your decision cannot be impartial. Your Lordship's interventions have been more aggressive than the Crown's cross examination," Mr. Christie charged.
Later, Doug Christie commented privately that Judge Blais had called investigative journalist Andrew Mitrovica's book, Covert Entry, an expose of CSIS' spy tactics and opening of mail, a novel." This book will form an important part of Mr. Zundel's case. This book and its revelation that CSIS apparently knew that a May 1995 terrorist bomb was coming for Ernst Zundel and did nothing will form an important part of Mr. Zundel's case.
Judge Blais noted that it would take until August 12 for the transcript to be prepared. He indicated that he wanted to study the exact words used. With the agreement of both parties, he said he would reserve judgment about recusing himself until some time in August.
Crown prosecutor, Donald MacIntosh, used most of the rest of the day to question Mr. Zundel about a wide range of connections. Although Mr. Zundel had testified that he had turned down a speaking invitation to attend a December 1990 Martyrs' Day Rally sponsored by the Heritage Front which honored fallen dissident, Robert Mathews, he was questioned at length about the people who had attended that meeting.
In CSIS's highly charged accusation against Mr. Zundel, the term White Supremacist is widely used. Ernst Zundel told McIntosh, "'White Supremacists' is not a term used by nationalists or the right wing. It is a propaganda term used by the enemy."
Just before the lunch break, the judge dropped his own bombshell. "The Crown has asked for a new presentation in camera," he said, referring to another secret hearing where the defence will have no knowledge of who testifies or what is said.
"Can your Lordship advise me when this request was made or is that secret, too," Doug Christie asked.
"Yesterday," Judge Blais informed him.
Doug Christie demanded that the defence be provided with a summary of the evidence presented in the secret hearing. "I ask that your Lordship follow the same procedure laid down by the Supreme Court for SIRC (The Security and Intelligence Review Committee) in a national security case in Chiarelli". In this ruling, the Supreme Court upheld procedures by SIRC whereby in an immigration and national security hearing, secret evidence was heard. The Court ruled that the secret hearing did not violate Mr. Chiarelli's Charter rights because his lawyer had been given a summary of the evidence and the opportunity to submit questions to probe this evidence. Judge Blais said he rejected Mr. Christie's interpretation of the Chiarelli decision and would not promise any disclosure. "I will accept the request by the Crown to produce new evidence in camera and will see whether it is necessary to provide any more summary to Mr. Zundel."
Before adjourning until September 23 and thus leaving revisionist publisher Ernst Zundel, now ailing, for another two months in solitary confinement at the Metro West Detention Center, the matter of Mr. Zundel's prison conditions was again [raised] by Douglas Christie. Mr. Christie reported his frustration at being unable to obtain complete documentary evidence of the results of Mr. Zundel's [medical] tests last week. Mr. Christie also pointed out that Ernst Zundel has been denied a chair, a pillow, pen, post-it-notes and highlighters.
An angry Judge Blais said, "If there is any possibility within the parameters of the law, I want to improve his condition. "Is there anybody here from the Detention Center?" he demanded. As on Monday, there was no answer from the provincial prison authorities.
"I will make a written direction that Mr. Zundel be treated with more flexibility," Judge Blais said.
"Even in medieval times, prisoners were allowed to use pen and paper," Judge Blais asserted. "I also have respect for Mr. Zundel. He is not a criminal. I think he is entitled to a little bit of flexibility," the Judge said.
It was decided that the Crown would send a letter to the Province of Ontario to seek more humane treatment for Mr. Zundel. However, if no results are achieved within a few days, there will be a conference call among Judge Blais, Crown attorney, Donald MacIntosh, defense lawyer, Doug Christie and provincial authorities.
All three days of hearings saw the courtroom nearly filled, mostly with supporters of Ernst Zundel, some who had traveled from as far away as London. Angered at yet another secret hearing and frustrated by the Crown's seemingly endless delays and petty questioning about Mr. Zundel's obscure political acquaintances, the free speech supporters gave the German-born publisher a rousing cheer as he left the courtroom.
Several were in tears as they thanked lawyer, Doug Christie, for fighting for improved health conditions for Mr. Zundel and embraced him as he left the University court building.
-- Paul Fromm



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