File: /u/pd0/text.fascism/christie Source: July 21, 1985. Calgary Herald Defence labels trial a 'Roman Circus' Red Deer- The defence lawyer in the trial of Jim Keegstra has confirmed he authored a letter that says "we are watching the equivalent of a Roman Circus." Doug Christie told reporters Wednesday extracts of a letter he sent to private individuals in Canada was contained in a fundraising circular directed at members of the Moslem community. "This is a letter of mine, but it was not sent to the public. It was sent to individuals... it was private whenever I sent it," Christie said when shown a typed version of the circular. "I have no control over what somebody does with a letter any more than you have control over what somebody does with a newspaper," he said. A copy of the circular addressed to Brothers and Sisters of Islam was obtained from the Canadian Jewish Congress in Toronto. The address included in the circular is a house in northwest Red Deer, the same place Christie, Keegstra and some supporters have been staying during the trial. It was on the front steps of that house that Christie spoke to reporters Wednesday. His reference to the Roman Circus pertained to the "the prosecution calling students to inform on their teachers... nothing says anything about a court," Christie said. "I think the prosecution of people for their opinions is disgraceful," he added. Christie made reference to the freedom of speech issue in his letter, saying that the Keegstra trial involves "not one issue but several inter-woven into a matrix of the most important values of our society." "A man is on trial in Canada for what he thought and spoke of over a period of four years; few will dare say anything about it. Every day a representative of the Canadian Jewish Congress sits in court and walks in and out of the prosecutor's office at the breaks, as well as advises the media, showing us who is the real power in the land. We are watching the equivalent of a Roman Circus..." the letter said in part. Christie said he has nothing to do with the "Jim Keegstra Foundation Funds" identified in the circular. -30- Source: Times Colonist (Victoria) March 2 1985 Lawyer Pays price for style (the second part of a longer article about Doug Christie) Many of Christie's cases are of the unrewarding, legal-aid type, and later this year is to conduct the defence of Albertan James Keegstra on hate charges. The case, certain to garner more headlines across Canada, will be argued by Christie virtually for free. The issues that arouse his passion revolve around Big Brother. Forced federalism, the metric system and the demise of the Union Jack led him to found the separatist Western Canada Concept party. Money doesn't mean much to him, Christie recently said as he leaned on the sauerkraut-and-sausage-laden dining room of Zundel's fortified Toronto home. His Victoria office is not exactly orthodox: he operates from an odd-looking parking attendants shack in the middle of the lot across from Victoria's courthouse. A car ran into it once, said Lissom matter-of-factly. Christie, a devout Roman Catholic, is most comfortable chopping wood, with his goats and ducks sidling around him on his 12 hectare piece of land north of Victoria. During the trial, Christie lived in Zundel's home, which also served as barracks for about 20 witnesses and supporters. At night, the whole bunch would sometimes get around the piano and sing. Christie says he admires the courage of people such as Zundel and Keegstra. "With all the pressures toward conformity in our society, why do we need another form of it? This is destructive to free ideas," he said. The Zundel case also had an unexpected result. The more he learned about the revisionist view of the Holocaust, "the more sense it made. I can say I've come to have some grave doubts about the exterminationist side." Defending Zundel has cost him a couple of valued friendships and brought worry to his parents in Alberta. "My father always taught me to be true to myself," the lawyer said thoughtfully. "It's when people's ideas are not popular that the real test comes. I don't like to upset them, but you have to do what you have to do." Zundel said Christie doesn't admit how rotten he feels about being shunned. "I will forever admire that man," said Zundel. "I consider him a great Canadian...." Within a day or two in his first Toronto trial, Christie had also staked out a claim as one of the most irreverent, combative lawyers practicing in Ontario. His daily run-ins with Locke during the Zundel trial made him an instant courthouse legend and left observers flinching. Locke was particularly incensed by Christie's sarcastic backtalk, his petulance and his habit of referring to his client as we. "That is not theatrics," Lisson said. "That is Doug Christie... There are occasions when he pushes a point so far he loses the point." Said But not yet" [sic] -30- Times-Colonist (Victoria, BC) Wednesday February 24, 1993 Law body won't punish Christie but flays ties to 'lunatic fringe' The Canadian Press Toronto- The Law Society of Upper Canada says it won't discipline Doug Christie, a Victoria lawyer known for defending accused racists, neo-Nazis and Holocaust-deniers. But the law society leveled stinging criticism of Christie's conduct during the trial of accused war criminal Imre Finta and pro-Nazi publisher Ernst Zundel. The 37 page decision released Tuesday didn't appear to satisfy anyone connected with the complaints, including Christie. "In all circumstances, I have concluded that Mr. Christie exercised exceedingly poor judgment, engaged in bad advocacy and was plainly wrong to assert actual bias," Harvey Strosberg, the chairman of discipline, wrote of Christie's conduct during the Zundel case. The 46 year old lawyer "has made common cause with a small, lunatic anti-Semitic fringe element of our society," Strosberg wrote. The law society began investigating Christie in 1990 after receiving several complaints from people alleging his conduct was unbecoming for a lawyer and that he badgered witnesses at Finite's trial. Christie, who is based in Victoria but permitted to practice in other provinces, represented both Zundel and Finta during lengthy trials in Toronto. He is also known across Canada for defending others accused of promoting hatred toward Jews, including former Alberta teacher Jim Keegstra and New Brunswick author Malcolm Ross. Last fall he defended Ku Klux Klansmen in Winnipeg and represented David Irving, a British author who says reports about the Holocaust have been greatly exaggerated, at immigration proceedings that saw him ordered to leave Canada. The law society focused on three incidents: Christie's allegations that the trial judge in the Zundel trial was biased against his client; his jury address at the Finta trial and a 1990 speech he made in support of Finta. Finta, a Toronto restaurateur, was acquitted in May 1990 on charges that he committed crimes against Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary during the Second World War. The case is under appeal. Zundel was convicted of spreading false news about the Holocaust, though the Supreme Court of Canada quashed the decision, saying the law he was charged under was unconstitutional. Strosberg agreed Christie was wrong to suggest the trial judge was biased, but said "there is minimal evidence to support a conclusion that he honestly but mistakenly believed the trial judge was biased." He also agreed Christie "broke the rules" during his jury address at the Finta trial when he expressed a personal opinion and "invited" the jury to disregard the law. However, Strosberg said it "was not so excessive as to warrant the initiation of the discipline process." Strosberg saved his harshest criticism for Christie's 1990 speech. "We know who Mr. Christie is. In the depths of his imagery he has not lied. Suffering Mr. Christie's words and opinions is part of the price one pays for upholding and cherishing freedom of speech in a free and democratic society." In Victoria, Christie said the law society's decision exonerates him but calledthe written decision a "smear" job. He said the law society wrongly attributed words to him, and "then condemned me for saying them." "They make a decision that they're to going to charge me but they say some awful things about me that are incorrect." -30-
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