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Judge in hate speech trial won't hear free speech charter argument before trial

July 13, 2015 - 9:00 PM

QUESNEL - The hate-speech versus free-speech debate continues in a Quesnel courtroom after a judge decided to wait until the end of trial to hear constitutional arguments from the accused charged with promoting hatred. 

Roy Arthur Topham, born 1947, is charged with promoting hatred against those of the Jewish religion or ethnic group on his website called the Radical Press. On the site, Topham writes anti-zionist content, has links to Hitler’s Mein Kampf and provides regular blog entries on his court case.

Last week in Quesnel Supreme Court, Justice Bruce Butler dismissed Topham’s application to have his constitutional argument of freedom of expression heard before trial.

"This can only be done at the conclusion of the trial. It would be unwise to embark on a consideration of the issues at this stage of the proceedings,” the justice said in his reasons for judgment. 

Topham was charged in 2012. He elected to be tried before judge and jury.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at gbrothen@infonews.ca, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

 

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
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