Friday, September 01, 2006

 

Score one against hate

The Edmonton Journal is reporting that Court of Queen's Bench Justice Philip Clarke handed 63-year-old Reni Sentana-Ries an 18-month sentence today for promoting hatred on his website. The maximum sentence was two years.

Sentana-Ries, who changed his name from Reinhard Gustav Mueller, was convicted last December by a jury on one count of promoting hatred through his site, which denies the Holocaust and says Jews created diseases such as AIDS and Ebola.

Bernie Farber, CEO of Canadian Jewish Congress, was called by the Crown in the sentencing hearing as an expert witness. Justice Clarke referred to Mr. Farber's testimony in his sentencing decision.

He gave the jail time instead of a conditional sentence and prohibited him from using the Internet for 36 months. He also ordered the “appalling” website shut down. It still operates out of the United States. It will be interesting to see how the Court gives effect to this part of its order.

Crown prosecutor Steven Bilodeau said the case sets "a benchmark" for similar Internet hate cases.
Update:
On Saturday, The National Post [subscription required] corrects the sentence length to 16 months. The story, by Katie Rook, quotes the prosecutor as saying "I hope people like Mr. Santana-Ries get the message that they can't put this kind of toxic material on the Internet without paying a heavy price."

The Post story notes the participation in the sentencing by Bernie Farber as an expert witness.


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