Canada native leader to get new hate crimes trial

Fri Feb 1, 2008 3:44pm EST
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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - The western Canadian province of Saskatchewan said on Friday it will retry native Indian leader David Ahenakew for promoting hatred for remarks he made about Jews more than five years ago.

Ahenakew, 74, was tried and convicted for hate crimes in 2005, but he successfully appealed the decision the following year.

A former head of the Assembly of First Nations, Ahenakew had blamed the Second World War on Jews in a December 2002 speech.

Afterward, he told a local newspaper reporter that Jews were a "disease" that Hitler was trying to "clean up" when he "fried six million of those guys."

But the appeals court said the trial judge did not consider whether Ahenakew intended to promote hatred, which is necessary to be found guilty of hate crimes under Canada's Criminal Code.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Rob Wilson)