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Man charged after allegedly impersonating N.S. staffer in racist social media post

Halifax police say a man faces an impersonation charge in connection with a social media post characterized as antisemitic that led to the firing of a Nova Scotia political staffer last fall.

Police confirm 25-year-old Samual Shaji was arrested in Bedford, N.S., on Feb. 7 and is scheduled to appear in court at a later date.

The arrest follows a report police say they received on Oct. 17 about a person who had accessed a social media account associated with a government employee and used it to share an antisemitic message.

In a court document filed last month, the government employee, Nargis DeMolitor, gave notice that she was suing the Nova Scotia premier’s office for wrongful dismissal over the incident.

DeMolitor’s statement of claim, which has not been tested in court, alleges the social media post was made by an unnamed Progressive Conservative Party member who “admitted to the act” following an investigation by the premier’s office.

It says the member had been hired to manage DeMolitor’s social media accounts, and that the employee’s contract had ended and that the passwords were changed “on or about April 18, 2023.”

The post on X — formerly known as Twitter — has been deleted, but it was shared with journalists by the Opposition Liberals last October. It read, “Israel must stop being the Nazis of the 21st century. Killing innocent Palestinians for political gain is inhumane and dictatorial. Free Palestine Now.”

Premier Tim Houston told reporters at the legislature last October that an internal investigation determined the post resulted from unauthorized access to the account, the result of a provincial employee sharing their social media login information with an “individual outside of government.”

He called it a “breach of trust” and told reporters that the “individual” no longer worked for the province, adding there was “no place for hate in the PC Party or in Nova Scotia.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 16, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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