Thursday 30 October 2008

Worrying Signs…

Suspected Holocaust denier Dr Gerald Toben has won his fight against extradition to Germany where he is wanted for allegedly publishing anti-Semitic material on his website.
Well, that’s good news. Not that I have any regard for Holocaust deniers, but I despise the attempt to jail someone for an offence not actually committed in the country that claims it to be an offence.

Particularly when the authorities aren’t even putting up a pretence of legal authority to back up their claims:
In the European Arrest Warrant issued in October 2004, he is accused of approving of or playing down the murder of the Jews by the Nazis.

But District Judge Daphne Wickham yesterday ruled the warrant invalid as it contains inadequate detail about the offences.

It neither states the name of the website nor where the propaganda is said to have been published from - merely referring to the 'world-wide internet'.
It’s a little worrying if that’s the only reason she refused it.
After discharging Mr Toben, Judge Wickham granted him bail pending an appeal by the German authorities.

But he was not expected to be released immediately, after she imposed a series of strict conditions including a £100,000 security.
Free to go, but not free. Nice legal status that is…
Judge Wickham rejected an argument from Melanie Cumberland, for the German authorities, that the required information could be acquired.

The judge said: "Compliance, in my view, cannot be fulfilled by a drip-feed of information as and when the issuing authority provides it.

"I find that the particulars are vague and imprecise, I find the warrant invalid and therefore discharge the defendant."
‘We don’t have enough information to arrest you, so we’ll arrest you and then find something to use against you.’ Well, I guess the Germans haven’t forgotten as much history as they claimed, then. Ironically…
His other bail conditions include residence at an approved address, written confirmation from the Australian High Commission of which passports he holds, and not to access the internet.

He is also banned from giving press interviews. These were safeguards 'to prevent any public order act offences', said Judge Wickham.
Well, of course. She could hardly say outright that they needed to gag him and impose restrictions on his right to free speech because ‘his thoughts are icky’, could she?

Far better to claim fears of some spurious ‘public order event’ that might be in the offing if this kook was allowed to walk the streets of Europe. As if we didn’t already have other nuts out there claiming that a giant conspiracy runs the world….

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