JTA — A British lawmaker who blamed a Jewish conspiracy for his conviction in connection with a fatal car crash has apologized for his statements.
Lord Nazir Ahmed of the Labor party claimed that his legal problems following the 2007 crash resulted from pressure placed on the courts by Jews “who own newspapers and TV channels.” He was suspended from the party earlier this month following the uncovering of his interview with a Pakistani television station, in which he made the comments.
Ahmed, who is Muslim, last week “completely and unreservedly” apologized to “the Jewish community, to the judiciary, to the newspaper owners” for his comments, and said that he has “the greatest respect” for the Jewish community in an interview with the Huffington Post UK.
Ahmed told the Huffington Post that he is “not anti-Semitic,” and that “I only believe in facts and, to be honest, I should have stuck with the facts rather than with conspiracy theories.”
Jewish Labor lawmaker Gerald Kaufman supported Ahmed in an interview with the Huffington Post. “I have witnessed Nazir reprimanding people who’ve made anti-Semitic remarks at public events,” he said. “He’s not only not anti-Semitic. He’s pro-Jewish.”
In March 2009, a court of appeals freed Ahmed from a 12-week prison sentence handed down by Justice Alan Wilkie following Ahmed’s conviction for dangerous driving in 2007. Ahmed was involved in an accident which claimed the life of 28-year-old Martyn Gombar. Gombar, who reportedly was drunk, collided with Ahmed’s car, The Times of London reported. Ahmed pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court in December 2008.
According to the Times of London, Ahmed alleged that Wilkie was appointed to the High Court after helping a “Jewish colleague” of former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Ahmed also allegedly maintained that the plot stemmed from Jewish disapproval of his support for the Palestinians in Gaza. “My case became more critical because I went to Gaza to support Palestinians. My Jewish friends who own newspapers and TV channels opposed this,” he allegedly said in the interview.