Holocaust denier wins extradition fight

By Leon Symons, November 21, 2008

Convicted Holocaust denier Frederick Toben has won his fight against extradition to Germany for publishing material online "of an antisemitic and/or revisionist nature".

Dr Toben, director of the revisionist Adelaide Institute in Australia, had been arrested while en route from America to Dubai on a European warrant executed on behalf of the German government.

Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany but not in Britain. Germany sought the extradition for material that appeared on Toben's website even though it was based in and emanated from Australia.

The arrest prompted an outcry from human rights groups and supporters, who argued that the warrant went against Britain's tradition of free speech, led by Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne.

Mr Huhne said after hearing of the decision: "This is the right legal decision in the light of our principles of free speech, that we do not criminalise free speech in this country. Having said that, I find his views utterly abhorrent."

The Crown Prosecution Service, which acted on behalf of the German government, said this week: "We can confirm that following careful consideration of this case, the CPS has taken steps to withdraw the appeal lodged on behalf of the German authorities.

"Even if the appeal against the discharge of the warrant had been successful, in the light of further information received from the German authorities about the location of the conduct alleged, we would not have been able to satisfy the UK courts - for jurisdictional reasons - that it amounted to an extradition offence in accordance with the Extradition Act 2003."

City of Westminster Magistrates signed an order releasing Toben, who had been held in custody since his arrest.

Last updated: 4:21pm, November 21 2008