Australia’s most notorious Holocaust revisionist faces a possible jail sentence less than six months after he spent 50 days inside Wandsworth Prison.
Dr Fredrick Toben, the director of the Adelaide Institute in South Australia, was found guilty last week of criminal contempt for continuing to publish material denying the Holocaust, doubting the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz and vilifying Jews in defiance of a 2002 Federal Court order.
In his judgment in the Federal Court in Adelaide, Justice Bruce Lander ruled that Dr Toben, 64, was guilty on 24 of 28 counts of “deliberate and calculated disobedience” of the previous court order.
“[Dr Toben] does not accept that the freedom of speech citizens of this country enjoy does not include the freedom to publish material calculated to offend, insult or humiliate or intimidate people because of their race, colour or national or ethnic origin,” Justice Lander said.
“It is conduct that amounts to criminal contempt.”
Jeremy Jones, a former president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, launched the legal action in 2006 after Dr Toben had continued to publish anti-Semitic material on his website.
Mr Jones told the JC: “Fredrick Toben showed contempt for history, contempt for truth and contempt for decency with his Holocaust denial. He has now been found to also be in contempt of Australian law. Any penalty he receives will be a direct consequence of his acting against the ruling of an Australian court.”
But Dr Toben said outside the court: “If you believe in something and you want to have that freedom to express your opinions then you should be prepared for sacrifices.”
Last week Dr Toben told The Australian newspaper that if he was found guilty and fined, he would refuse to pay.
“That means I will have to go in [to jail],” he said.
Dr Toben was jailed in London for almost two months late last year while German prosecutors tried unsuccessfully to extradite him on a European Union warrant. In 1999, he spent seven months in prison in Germany, his birthplace, for inciting racism.
In 2006 he spoke at a Holocaust denial conference in Tehran attended by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Justice Lander will hear submissions on Dr Toben’s penalty on April 28.