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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

British Conspiracy Theorist David Icke Testifies at Conservative Website Defamation Trial

By Glen McGregor, Ottawa Citizen  September 16, 2013

OTTAWA — Infamous British conspiracy theorist David Icke appeared in an Ottawa courtroom Monday to testify in a defamation trial that pits a human rights lawyer against a conservative website.

Icke, a former British professional soccer player whose 2000 speaking tour of Canada led to protests and the cancellation of some events, gave evidence on behalf of Mark and Connie Fournier, the former proprietors of the website

The Fourniers are being sued for libel by Ottawa lawyer Richard Warman over messages posted on the site in 2007 that he claims were defamatory of him. Two commenters on the site are also named as defendants.

The Fourniers’ lawyer, Barbara Kulaszka, told the court Icke was being called to testify about the truth of one of the allegedly libelous posts on the message board that claimed Warman was “part of a nasty group of enemies of free speech.”

Warman has launched numerous lawsuits and complaints alleging violation of hate-speech laws or the Canadian Human Rights Act, raising the ire of some free-speech advocates and making him a frequent target of criticism in the conservative blogosphere.

Kulaszka read for the court letters that Warman had written to then-Liberal Immigration Minister Elinor Caplan and other immigration department officials in 2000 that warned against admitting Icke to the country on his speaking tour.

In the letters, Warman said that Icke’s anti-Semitic writings allege a conspiracy between the world’s Jewish elite and Freemasons to establish an oppressive global government.

Icke testified Warman’s efforts led to the cancellation of speaking events on the 2000 tour and hassles at the hands of Canada immigration officials, including when he arrived in Ottawa on Saturday.

“I started to realize there was a campaign to stop me and I was being painted as some kind of racist who was going to be engaged in hate speech, when I talk in my books about the need to love each other,” he told the court.

“That was shocking and the name Richard Warman started to appear as one of the ringleaders of this extraordinarily unfair character assassination.”

Icke is best known for his theory that the world is controlled by descendants of extraterrestrial reptiles, Queen Elizabeth II among them. He told the court he has written more than 20 books, translated into 20 languages, and that his website gets three million unique visits each month.

Icke rejected Warman’s allegations that his writing was anti-Semitic.

“Racism is a grotesque stupidity and a moronic belief of judging people based on the nature of their genetics, yet I’m accused of it,” he said.

“What I talk about is Zionism, a political movement that his challenged by many Jewish people vehemently.”

Warman had also accused Icke of writing that a “cabal of Jews” was responsible for the rise of Hitler, the Russian revolution and other “nefarious” historical events.

Icke responded that Trotsky and Lenin were Zionists and said current Russian President Vladimir Putin had recently noted that that 80 to 85 per cent of the members of first communist government of the Soviet Union were Jewish.

“I’m a researcher. What am I supposed to say — they come from Outer Mongolia?”

Icke stood in the witness box throughout his testimony after telling Judge Robert J. Smith that his arthritic knees made it difficult to sit.

On cross-examination, Warman’s lawyer, James Katz, questioned Icke about his books that made reference to wild and unproved allegations that former Canadian prime ministers Pierre Trudeau and Brian Mulroney, as well as U.S. Presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, had all raped the same woman.

Katz read parts of Icke’s books that had quoted the allegation that mind-controlled mothers and daughters were transported from the U.S. across the Canadian border at Niagara Falls for Mulroney to rape them. Trudeau, the books alleged, had been a Jesuit cooperating with the Vatican in these crimes.

Asked if he believes these bizarre claims to be true, Icke said he did.

“Absolutely, because it’s true,” he said.

Icke also noted he had never been sued by Mulroney nor had ever been charged for any hate speech while in Canada.

Katz suggested to Icke that his books draw on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which purports to be a blueprint for global Jewish domination but has been widely discredited as a hoax perpetrated by anti-Semites.

Asked if he now accepts The Protocols as fake, debunked by academics, Icke responded, ”My jury is out on it because I’m a researcher. Academics once told everyone the world was flat.”

In her opening statement before presenting a defence of the libel claims, Kulaszka said the website posts Warman complained of show “how utterly trivial this lawsuit is. Some don’t even mention Richard Warman,” she said. “Some are obvious jokes.”

“The paltry few lines he is suing for could not damage his reputation,” she told the court. She said Warman had made himself into a public figure through repeated use of Canada’s hate-speech laws.

The civil case is being tried before a six-member jury. The trial is expected to continue until next week.

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