Neo-Nazi Gabriel Sohier-Chaput guilty of fomenting hatred against Jews
Gabriel Sohier-Chaput, also known as “Zeiger”, was one of The Daily Stormer's most prolific writers.
In a punchy judgment, Judge Manlio Del Negro found Gabriel Sohier-Chaput guilty of “willfully fomenting hatred against persons of Jewish faith” at the Montreal courthouse.
Part of the audience present in the courtroom applauded the decision. The judge immediately ordered that the man be taken into custody, because of the seriousness of the acts for which he is convicted. He can go anywhere in the world and take refuge behind a pseudonym. He represents an imminent danger to society.
The main evidence in this trial is an article by Gabriel Sohier-Chaput, also known as Zeiger, published in January 2017 on The Daily Stormer, the most popular far-right portal in the world. The text dealt with anti-Semitic posters posted in a bus shelter in British Columbia. Nazism everywhere, non-stop, until the streets are flooded with the tears of our enemies, the 36-year-old wrote at the time.
Zeiger was the platform's second most prolific contributor. He argued in court that references to Nazism in his writings were just hyperbole, humor, irony. Since 2016, he has written more than 800 articles for the openly racist, homophobic, misogynistic and transphobic publication.
The Nazis, people who want the extermination of the Jews, it is a creation of Hollywood, he had testified, on March 22, 2022. It has no real basis. I have never met any. It's a dark fantasy. The Holocaust is the supreme evil, it is the sacred cow. If we want to bring down political correctness, we have to touch anti-Semitism. One should not hide anything based on emotional reactions. Everything should be discussed openly.
Judge Del Negro did not believe his testimony. The Court considers that the explanations provided are specious, insincere, opportunistic, misleading, far-fetched, implausible, concealing the truth and cobbled together to conceal the true intention of the accused, can we read in the 72-page judgment.
He adds that there is nothing ironic in the fact that several Jewish and other people were exterminated. On the contrary, it is one of the most saddest in the history of humanity where a people was persecuted and exterminated for, among other things, their religious affiliation.
Gabriel Sohier-Chaput had also pleaded that he was only the author of the first part of the January 2017 article in question. The man with small glasses and hair tied in a bun had argued that it was rather the owner of the Daily Stormer, the well-known American figure of the extreme right, Andrew Anglin. Again, the judge did not buy the defendant's version.
He considers that all of the evidence leaves no doubt in the mind of the Tribunal as to the fact that it was Gabriel Sohier-Chaput who wrote the second part of the article.
The ruling also underscores the fact that the defendant intended to inoculate readers with what the Tribunal figuratively identifies as the hate virus”.
It is crystal clear that Gabriel Sohier-Chaput was aware that his writings would incite hatred of the Jews. The images he describes in the first part of his text are vivid and explicit and particularly target Jews in a snarling tone while advocating the violence of Nazism.
July 8 last, the trial of Mr. Sohier-Chaput took a particular turn as the defense embarked on a debate on the links between Nazism and the Holocaust.
The lawyer of the defence, Me Hélène Poussard had pleaded that it is possible to be a Nazi without agreeing with the extermination of the Jews.
We play with words, she had launched. According to the dictionary, Nazism is National Socialism. It was an ideology. It was not part of the original plan to exterminate the Jews. And is it really six million victims? I think if people died in concentration camps it was to save money.
I advise you to stop: what you are saying is not reasonable, Judge Del Negro intervened, before asking that a debate on the question of judicial knowledge take place at the next session.
In his decision, the judge writes that certain comments made by the defense lawyer have no place in a court of law and that the defense tries to misrepresent historical facts and tries to rewrite history.
He points out that the connection between the Holocaust and the Nazis is a historical fact and generally accepted to the point of not being the subject of debate between reasonable people.
Judge Del Negro concludes by stating that the victims of the Holocaust deserve to be left in peace.
Even 77 years after the end of the Second World War, that we still persist today in trivializing the role that Nazism played towards the Jews during the Holocaust and in continuing to wanting to go after them is deeply shocking.