Australian Holocaust denier Fredrick Toben facing deportation

THE dramatic arrest of Australian Holocaust denier Fredrick Toben on board a plane at Heathrow Airport in London on Wednesday night could result in his extradition to Germany on charges of Holocaust denial.Toben, 64, of Adelaide, had been in transit at Heathrow after arriving from the United States and was arrested just after boarding a flight to Dubai.Appearing before a City of Westminster magistrate in London hours after his arrest, Toben said he did not consent to being extradited to Germany, where he believes he would not receive a fair trial.Toben, who spent seven months in a German prison in 1999 for Holocaust denial, could face further imprisonment there. In Germany, unlike Australia, denying the Holocaust is classified as a criminal act.District judge Nicholas Evans denied bail and remanded Toben to reappear in the London court to face extradition charges on Friday.A representative of the District Court of Mannheim in Germany, Tina Whybrow, said Toben is accused of computer-related crime, racism and xenophobia.The charges relate specifically to anti-Semitic material posted on his Adelaide Institute website between 2002-04, relating to Holocaust denial.Toben's arrest warrant, issued by the European Union, alleged that the materials "approve or play down above all the mass murder of the Jews, planned and implemented, by the national socialist rulers”. The AJN understands that the arrest might impact on contempt proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Toben by Jeremy Jones, a former president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ).Jones launched the contempt action against Toben in 2006, when Toben returned to Australia after speaking at a Holocaust denial conference staged in Teheran by the Iranian regime.The civil action alleged repeated violations of a Federal Court order four years earlier that Toben remove Holocaust denial material from the Adelaide Institute website and not post new material. Jones was ECAJ president when the communal roof body won a 2002 Federal Court proceeding against Toben. At the time, Justice Catherine Branson ruled that the material posted on his website was likely to "offend, humiliate and intimidate" Australia's Jewish community.The AJN understands that the 23-month-old civil contempt case before the Federal Court, launched by Jones in October 2006, could be impacted in different ways by Toben's arrest and by a possible conviction in Germany.If the Federal Court rules that Toben has breached its 2002 order, it will be open to the court to impose a penalty, possibly including a prison sentence to be served after Toben has served his time in Germany.Alternatively, the Australian court might decide to delay its sentencing until after a German sentence has been served by Toben.As the penalty phase of Toben's Federal Court proceeding is being held separately from the liability phase, the court could rule that Toben is in contempt but that it cannot hold a penalty hearing while Toben is in jail, as it would be his right to give evidence as to why he should not serve prison time as a result of the contempt action.