British Columbia

Arthur Topham's anti-Semitic website still on internet despite hate conviction

An anti-semitic website at the heart of a B.C. hate crimes conviction will remain online — for now.

'I'm not happy,' says Victoria complainant

Arthur Topham was convicted of promoting hatred earlier this month in Quesnel, B.C., but his website is still operating.

An anti-Semitic website at the heart of a B.C. hate crimes conviction will remain online — for now.

Two weeks ago, a Quesnel jury convicted Arthur Topham of willfully promoting hatred against Jewish people through his website, Topham is scheduled to be sentenced in the new year.

After his conviction, Crown attorney Jennifer Johnston applied to have removed from the internet.  She also asked the court to bar Topham from publishing or posting on any internet site accessible to the general public.

However, Justice Bruce Butler, of the B.C. Supreme Court, refused the request, saying he will rule on the website's future during Topham's sentencing.

As a result, the website continues to operate. The latest posts, written by Topham, include his take on the trial and its implications.

Site angers complainant

Harry Abrams, who first complained to police about the site, said he's disappointed the site is still operating but hopes the judge will order it shut down when Topham is sentenced.

"I'm not happy, but it has to play out, and it's up to the judge," Abrams said. "At a certain point you have to figure that the judge knows what he is doing and leave him to it."

Topham's case was the first hate crime trial in BC in almost a decade. It was closely watched by Jewish groups, anti-racist organizations, as well as free speech advocates and white supremacists.