Ahenakew Case May Be Headed Back To Trial

Monday, January 14, 2008 at 15:33



The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal has upheld a lower court’s ruling that threw out a hate-crime conviction against former Assembly of First Nations leader David Ahenakew.


In a ruling handed down today, the court says that while Ahenakew’s remarks about Jews were brutal, he did not wilfully promote hatred against them.


The court has ordered a new trial for Ahenakew, meaning it’s now up to the Crown to re-try the case, stay the charges or appeal to the Supreme Court.


Ahenakew was originally convicted after calling Jews a “disease” in a 2002 interview with a reporter.


However, that conviction was overturned by a Court of Queen’s Bench justice who found that the trial judge did not properly assess Ahenakew’s intent when he made the comments.


The Crown appealed that ruling, arguing Ahenakew knew he was talking to a reporter and could have walked away from the interview at any time without talking about his feelings toward Jews.


(courtesy of The Canadian Press)