(JTA) — A British lawmaker who blamed a Jewish conspiracy for his conviction in connection with a fatal car crash apologized for his statements.
Lord Nazir Ahmed of the Labor party in an interview last week with the Huffington Post UK “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.
Ahmed, who is Muslim, 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.”
He had claimed in an interview with a Pakistani television station 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 comments.
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, an appeals court freed Ahmed from a 12-week prison sentence following his conviction for dangerous driving in 2007. Ahmed was involved in an accident that claimed the life of 28-year-old Martyn Gombar.
Gombar, who reportedly was drunk, collided with Ahmed’s car, The Times reported. Ahmed pleaded guilty to dangerous driving in Sheffield Magistrates’ Court in December 2008.
According to the Times, Ahmed alleged that the judge who handed down his sentence, Alan 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,” he allegedly said in the Pakistani TV interview. “My Jewish friends who own newspapers and TV channels opposed this.”