A judge in Quebec has claimed that the prosecution during a trial of a man charged with stoking antisemitic hatred failed to establish a link between Nazi ideology and the murder of Jews in the Holocaust.
Gabriel Sohier Chaput, 35, was charged with one count of wilfully promoting hatred in connection with an article from 2017 on the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer that he admits to having written. The post referred to Jews as “our enemies”, included the claim that 2017 would be the year of “non-stop Nazism, everywhere”, as well as antisemitic images and slurs, and displayed photos of Adolf Hitler and other images associated with Nazism.
Mr Sohier Chaput’s defence included the claim that The Daily Stormer was just a parody site and that the derogatory terms for Jews used throughout the article were added by an editor. Prosecutor Patrick Lafrenière contested this, saying that the site is by all accounts a serious one, and that the antisemitic slurs were entirely Mr Sohier Chaput’s own work.
Mr Sohier Chaput is a contributor to the far-right Daily Stormer.
Mr Lafrenière said that it was well-known that the publication is a far-right site and Nazism directly led to the murder of six million Jews, but Judge Manlio Del Negro accused Mr Lafrenière of failing to provide an expert witness to confirm this.
Sohier Chaput’s defence lawyer, Helene Poussard, claimed that he was trying to amuse his readers, telling the judge that “today, Nazism is used to describe everything. We mix the Holocaust with Nazism. It’s not because Jews were exterminated that it was part of the ideology.” Ms Poussard also claimed that Jews were slaughtered “to save money”.
Though the judge reprimanded Ms Poussard, he also blamed Mr Lafrenière for failing to complete the easy task of proving that The Daily Stormer was a far-right site and provide a historian to prove that Nazism was responsible for the murder of Jews.
Both parties agreed to return to court on 29th August to debate whether or not it is commonly known that The Daily Stormer is a far-right website and the Nazism led directly to the Holocaust.
Campaign Against Antisemitism reports on news and incidents relating to antisemitism throughout Canada, where a recent audit shows that antisemitic incidents have drastically increased.