Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Truth Won't Be A Defense In Any Arthur Topham Hate Speech Trial?

The hate-speech case against Arthur Topham, which I have written about on occasion, moves slowly forward.  Topham has been discussing it at length on his website.  His website's cuckoo land, but there is an interesting bit reproduced below.  Its some correspondence from a B.C. Ministry of Justice representative to Topham's lawyer, Doug Christie:

You have also asked me to specify which of Mr. Topham’s comments the Crown believes to be true and which the Crown considers false. You should be prepared for the Crown to put all of Mr. Topham’s postings and comments, as given to you in disclosure before the court. The Crown declines to limit their theory of the case at this juncture.

Now, the way I read the above passage (and I know a few lawyers, though IANAL) is that the Crown is refusing to argue Topham's many, many anti-Semitic contentions.  This way, if the thing goes to trial, lawyer Christie won't be able to bring forward a whole series of crack-pot witnesses willing to deny the Holocaust or claim that Jews control Hollywood or whatever.  The Crown is trying to avoid the freak-show that Zundel's trial became, in other words.  Which is what the tribunal process did by disallowing truth as a defense, and why so many people argued for using the criminal code in such circumstances.  Ah well.


Anonymous said...

That rant site of his is a weird place. He really has a martyr complex and it's funny how nasty little people like him insist on everyone else being nice with them, but can't see how returning the favour might be part of the bargain.

It also makes me wonder where Ezra is. He called Dawg an anti-semite just for calling him a pig..

PS the title of the post makes strange reading

bigcitylib said...

Was missing a word. THX.

Harry Abrams said...

Those follwing this issue might find the Penza Interim Decision in the Zundel CHRC case helpful, for this clarified the human rights concept that doesn't allow "truth" as a defense, if it's about obviously or traditionally libelous racist statements against protected groups. This intention of this very specific legal application has frequently been misrepresented by free speech absolutists over the years...