Former Reporter Grilled At Ahenakew Trial

Wednesday, November 26, 2008 at 14:48



David Ahenakew’s lawyer continued cross-examination this morning of the reporter who first reported on Ahenakew’s controversial comments about Jewish people.


Former Star-Phoenix reporter James Parker was covering the FSIN health conference where Ahenakew made comments about Jews in a speech six years ago.


In a Saskatoon courtroom today during Ahenakew’s re-trial for inciting hatred, Parker said he sought to clarify Ahenakew’s statement where he said Germans told him Jews started the Second World War.


Ahenakew’s lawyer, Douglas Christie, said Parker “ambushed” Ahenakew — because Parker didn’t give him any warning about his line of questioning.


Parker replied that he didn’t consider it an ambush, but agreed Ahenakew didn’t know what the questions would be.


Christie also told Parker he knew he would have a sensational story — the biggest story of his life — if he could get Ahenakew to say that he believed Jews started the Second World War.


Parker testified he wasn’t thinking about that — but simply wanted Ahenakew to clarify his comment.


Christie also suggested Parker knew the story would be of interest to his boss, CanWest owner Izzy Asper, because of Asper’s Jewish ancestry.


Parker said he wasn’t thinking of his boss, but thought the public would be interested in the story.