12 March 2009

March 12 Bits and Bites Part I: Aryan Guard Member Convicted of Assault

Looks like Aryan Guard member RN was convicted of assault today:

Racist motives irrelevant in attack, says judge

UPDATED: 2009-03-12 11:49:12 MST
By KEVIN MARTIN, Sun Media


Whether the attack of a Japanese woman by an alleged white supremacist was racially motivated is irrelevant, a judge said Thursday in convicting her assailant.

Youth court Judge Gordon Burrell said while he heard evidence about the teen attacker’s involvement with the Aryan Guard, that information had nothing to do with his guilt, or innocence.

“There has been suggestions (in evidence) and media releases attempting to classify this matter as a racially linked attack,” Burrell said, in a written ruling.

“I do not find it necessary to determine whether the (assault was) as a result of racial prejudice,” Burrell said.

The judge noted that unlike the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act does not consider hate-motivated conduct to be an aggravating factor in sentencing.

“The court heard evidence that this assault was perpetrated on the basis of hate or at a minimum it was racially intended,” said Burrell.

“The issue to be decided is the crime of assault not the fact that some of the evidence may suggest a dislike to a certain race by a young man who dresses in a ‘unique’ fashion.”

Asako Okazaki, who had lived in Calgary for a little more than a year, said she was the victim of an unprovoked assault on July 26, 2008, as she talked on her cell phone in a downtown alley.

Okazaki said she had gone outside from a pub she was attending when someone kicked her from behind.

A former friend of the attacker said he was a member of the white supremacist Aryan Guard, a group he testified commits random acts of violence against minorities.

The witness said his ex-pal even wore red laces in his combat boots — symbolic among group members of a willingness to lose your life, or act violently for the group.

But Burrell said evidence of motive wasn’t necessary for him to convict the youth, now 17, of assault with a weapon, his boots, and assault causing bodily harm.

“I do not need to have evidence of hatred in order to substantiate a conviction,” the judge said.
“The court did not hear any evidence from this unsuspecting victim that she perceived this assault on her was as a result of her Japanese ancestry.”

At the request of Crown prosecutor Karuna Ramakrishnan and defence counsel Jim Conway, Burrell ordered a psychological and psychiatric assessment on the teen.

Sentencing is tentatively set for March 31.

kevin.martin@sunmedia.ca

We await the verdict. Given what we know about RN and what he has both said and written we're disappointed that the judge didn't consider his association with the Aryan Guard and his violently racist views as relevant, but at least the right decision based on the evidence was rendered. One other nail in the Aryan Guard claim regarding non-violence should be noted from the testimony:

A former friend of the attacker said he [RN] was a member of the white supremacist Aryan Guard, a group he testified commits random acts of violence against minorities.

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