Posted by: secretperson | October 4, 2008

Liberal Democrat in Liberal Shock

Some have suggested that the Liberal Democrats are not as liberal as their name suggests, supporting nanny state interfering policies, and that their love of the European Union, whatever form it might take, undermines their claims as democrats.

However, Chris Huhne has today spoken out against the use of the European Arrest Warrant to deport an Australian citizen to Germany to stand trial on charges of Holocaust denial. Frederick Toben was arrested while transfering planes at Heathrow at the request of Germany, and although Holocaust denial is not a crime in Britain, could be deported under the EAW system.

Chris Huhne believes there is precedent for not extraditing someone in cases where the alledged crime is not a crime in your country, so it seems we don’t need to enforce this. I wonder if it is a judge who will decide or a politician? It seems it will go to court, with the CPS putting the German case, but it also seems to me that politicians need to clarify the law, as we were reassured when the EAW was introduced no-one would be extradited for something that wasn’t a crime in the UK.

I suspect any confusion arising from this will be used as an excuse to push for more European law, so different states don’t have different laws. A Europe-wide Holocaust denial law has been suggested before after all. Trixy sees it as a move towards a single European Justice area.

I think we must stand up and say that, in the UK, free speech matters. That pushing things under ground is not the best approach, we should defeat the argument. There is plentiful evidence for the Holocaust, why not let it shine through. By singling out this one historical fact, amongst many, as uniquely beyond criticism or question, we only give the impression that there is something to hide.

Not many politicians will stand up and say this, because no-one wants to be seen to support a Holocaust denier. But they should be seen to support the principles of free speech and fair justice, and this case infringes both of those principles. Well done Chris Huhne.



  1. I agree. This is a case of the EU wasting police time.

  2. […] Denial Extradition Halted on Technicality The extradition of Dr Gerald Toben (my previous post) to Germany to face charges of holocaust denial has been stopped by a judge who ruled the warrant […]

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