REGINA – Saskatchewan’s top court is set to rule in the hate-crime case against one-time aboriginal leader David Ahenakew.
The former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations was originally convicted of wilfully promoting hatred for calling Jews a “disease” in a 2002 interview with a reporter. But 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 to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal 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 the Jews.
The appeal ended in a shouting match on the court house steps between Ahenakew, his lawyer and a supporter and a lawyer from the Jewish advocacy group B’nai Birth.