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Native leader's hate crimes trial a raucous affair

The hate crimes trial of a Native leader whose anti-Semitic remarks were reported by the media is being described as a circus.

David Ahenakew, a former chief of the Assembly of First Nations and former head of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, testified on Tuesday that he stands behind the remarks that led to widespread criticism. He said on the stand that he believes Jewish people are to blame for World War II

The courtroom has been packed with members of the media and Jewish and Native people, according to news reports. Spectators have made frequent outbursts during the trial, with some calling the government prosecutor a racist for suggesting Natives were immigrants and that Ahenakew is not some "unsophisticated individual from some remote northern band."

Ahenakew is being prosecuted by the government under the criminal hate crimes law.

Get the Story:
Ahenakew trial turns rowdy (The Globe and Mail 4/6)
Ahenakew says he still believes Jews started war (CP 4/6)
Ahenakew's lawyer rips media (CBC 4/5)
Hate law attacked (CanWest News Service 4/5)

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