Subject: Article Vancouver Sun March 30, 1996
Vancouver Sun Saturday March 30, 1996
LAWYER DENIES BACKING ZUNDEL VIEW IN VIDEO
Victoria Lawyer Gary Botting says Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel is
distorting a video made 11 years ago to make it look as if Botting supports
Zundel’s Nazi views.
Botting says he plans to ask Zundel to immediately stop distribution of
the video on the World wide web computer network.
He called a news conference in Victoria Friday to say he had just been
informed the video was airing on the web and he wanted people to know he
believes the Holocaust happened and in no way supports Zundel’s views.
Botting said he did the taped interview with Zundel after he testified
at Zundel’s 1985 trial for violating Canada’s hate laws. He said he only
discussed his views about freedom of expression – not Holocaust denial.
In the video segment, Holocaust denier Jim Keegstra enters the room at
one point and Zundel and Keegstra’s lawyer, Doug Christie, are also visible
in the room.
“It’s presented as if I support his agenda,” Botting said in an
interview. ” I addressed myself to censorship”.
Saying Zundel “sucked” him in to be used in support of his racist agenda
and anti-Semitic Agenda, Botting added: “I never have been a Holocaust
denier or anti-Semitic.”
In the 1980’s Botting lost his job as an Alberta college instructor
after a controversy over whether he put a Holocaust-denying book on his
students’ mandatory reading list.
Botting said Friday the book was never on the reading list and he felt
he was fired for other reasons, including a book he had written criticizing
the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
During the controversy he was awarded a medal by Christie’s new-found
Canadian Free Speech League, which The Canadian Jewish Congress has
denounced as anti-Semitic. After testifying on behalf of Zundel, Botting
studied law and articled with Christie in Victoria.
He said Friday he intended to give back the medal to Christie’s
organization and he has not associated with the controversial lawyer for
Botting claimed he didn’t know anything about Zundel when he went to
testify for him, but did so solely because of his strong views against any
form of censorship.
But Zundel said in an interview Friday that Botting shared his views
when he interviewed the latter for the video in question.
“He gave his consent…I’m surprized he was upset about it because when
he testified for me, he knew I was me,” Zundel said. “It’s like closing the
barn door after the horse has left.”
Asked if he would remove the tape from the web, Zundel said: ” I am not
easily censored. If there is material in there out of his own mouth that he
no longer believes, I’ll put in a disclaimer.”
Zundel said he asked Botting to testify because of Botting’s defense,
while a college teacher, regarding the right of instructors to introduce the
Holocaust denying Hoax of the 20th Century.
“That’s what appealed to me,” Zundel said. ” He came and gave very good
testimony for me.”
Zundel said he would contact Botting to discuss the matter.
Botting is now a high-profile Victoria criminal lawyer who has
represented fellow practicioners of his Wicca religion.
In 1992, he offered his services to British Holocaust denier David
Irving, who was being deported from Canada while on a speaking tour.
But Botting said Friday he did so only because he believed Irving had
the right to legal representation.
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