Revisionist faces extradition hearing after airport arrest
A convicted Holocaust-denier faces a London hearing today to decide whether he will be extradited to Germany to face further allegations of Holocaust denial.
German-born Frederick Toben, 64, was arrested at Heathrow Airport on Wednesday morning after flying in from the United States en route to Dubai. He was detained by the Metropolitan Police's extradition unit under an EU warrant issued by German authorities.
An Australian citizen, Toben is wanted in Germany for alleged Holocaust denial. He is accused of publishing material on the internet "of an antisemitic and/or revisionist nature" in Australia, Germany and other countries.
It is alleged that between 2000 and 2004 Toben posted information online that denied, approved of or played down the mass murder of Jews by the Nazis. The warrant alleges: "The said publications deny, approve or play down above all the mass murder of the Jews, planned and implemented, by the national socialist rulers."
A former teacher, in 1994 Toben set up the privately run Adelaide Institute - an Australian organisation that questions central facts concerning the Holocaust. In 1999, he was given a 10-month jail sentence by a court in Mannheim, Germany, after publishing pamphlets which denied the mass extermination of Jews in gas chambers at Auschwitz. He served seven months of the sentence before being granted bail and returned to Australia, where, in 2002, he was ordered by the Australian Federal Court to remove all material denying the Holocaust from the Institute website.
Toben, who holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Stuttgart, appeared before City of Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday and was remanded in custody. He said he did not consent to being extradited and would fight attempts to send him to Germany.
CST spokesperson Mark Gardner said: "Although Holocaust denial is not illegal in the UK, for obvious historical reasons the German law is a different case. It's gratifying to see the UK authorities reacting in this manner and hopefully ensuring that the German law will take its course."
Toben is due to appear at the City of Westminster Magistrates Court today.