Friday, March 2, 2012

Vic: Tribunal refuses dismissal of racial vilification complaint

AAP General News (Australia)
Vic: Tribunal refuses dismissal of racial vilification complaint

MELBOURNE, Feb 19 AAP - An application to dismiss a vilification complaint against
a Christian group was today refused, although the case has been delayed after someone
tried to influence the judge.

Lawyer David Perkins yesterday called on the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
(VCAT) to dismiss the vilification complaint made by The Islamic Council of Victoria against
Catch the Fire Ministries.

But VCAT vice-president Judge Michael Higgins dismissed the application and ruled the
case would continue.

The case was then adjourned, following Judge Higgins' admission he had received a letter
and two CDs from someone involved in the case.

Judge Higgins said the signed letter was not threatening, but the conduct was inappropriate
and the person had sought to influence the handling of the case.

Mr Perkins called on Judge Higgins to release the letter to both parties in order to
establish its content before proceeding with the case.

"This matter is serious and the writer has succeeded in getting to Your Honour," he said.

"We are entitled to know specifically what's been put before you."

In a test case for the two-year-old Racial and Religious Tolerance Act, The Islamic
Council last year claimed a March 2002 Catch the Fires seminar preached Muslims would
kill non-Muslims who refused to convert to Islam.

Over more than 20 sitting days, VCAT has heard speakers told the seminar Muslims lied,
raped Christian women and planned to take over Australia using violence if necessary.

It heard a newsletter distributed by the group at the seminar claimed the Koran "teaches
hate, not love" and endorsed murder.

The Islamic Council has demanded a public apology and a clarification of the comments
made in the seminar and newsletter.

The case continues.

AAP kh/gfr/tma/de


2004 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

No comments:

Post a Comment