Saturday, November 22, 2008
Victory for free speech
The Holocaust denier, Frederick Toben, has been released from custody after the German government gave up its legal battle to extradite him from Britain. The controversial historian was arrested at Heathrow in October 2008 on a European arrest warrant accusing him of racism and anti-Semitism. German prosecutors were then forced to appeal to the High Court after a British Court refused to hand him over. Kevin Lowry-Mullins, Dr Toben's solicitor, has confirmed that the appeal had been withdrawn and he had signed a consent order with the German government to end the case. Under Section 130 of the German criminal code, holocaust denial is illegal and offenders can face up to five years in jail, but the case caused unease in Britain where there is no such law. Attempts to extradite him were seen by many as an assault on free speech.