08 February 2010
William White, 33, an American neo-Nazi who advocated the murder of Canadian human rights lawyer Richard Warman and called for the Canada’s government to be overthrown by force, has been cleared by a US district court of the accusations that he had made threats. The Canadian Jewish Congress strongly condemned the court verdict.
"Certainly, calling for Richard Warman to be 'dragged out into the street and shot, after appropriate trial by a revolutionary tribunal of Canada's white activists,' or expressing hope that someone firebombs his house is offensive and disturbing, and perhaps frightening to Richard Warman," Judge James Turk ruled, but said White's actions were protected under the constitutional principle of freedom speech and could not be considered threats because he had not indicated that he intended to commit violence against Warman.
However, the judge upheld three other convictions against White also stemming from intimidation and threats. He is to be sentenced in April and faces up to 30 years in prison. The 33-year-old defendant, who heads a neo-Nazi group in the US state of Virginia, also wrote that Canada was a "petty tyranny" and called for its parliament to be stormed and the government in Ottawa to be executed. "Overthrow your government! Put your Jews to the sword," White wrote on one of his websites.
Canadian Jewish Congress CEO Bernie Farber, who testified against White, said on the court’s decision: "It is breathtaking in its conclusion.” He was quoted by the newspaper ‘National Post’ as adding: “I really do hope the government will address this in an appeal because it can't be allowed to stand."
We welcome any comments you may have on this article.
Comments are moderated and we reserve the right to edit or remove any which are derogatory or offensive.
The WJC is not responsible for the content of any comments.
Subscribe to our newsletter.