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 contained insufficient detail to extradite Dr Toben.
Astonishingly, considering the alleged crime was to have published the material on the internet, no websites were named in the warrant, merely that the alleged crimes had occurred on the “world-wide internet”.
Dr Toben was granted bail, with conditions, and the German authorities may yet appeal.
However this dismissal of the European Arrest Warrant was only on a technicality. It had nothing to say about the legality of extraditing someone to a foreign country for offences that are not illegal in England and Wales. Regardless of the outcome here, we must still object to the EAW. As far as I am aware, previous bi-lateral extradition treaties did not cover offences that only existed in one of the juristictions, and we should insist that any EU wide agreement is treated similarly. There is precedent, with Belgium saying it wouldn’t send people back to Poland for abortion related offences.
So often with bad EU law, the way it is implimented in this country is as much to blame as the EU. It seems clear that this is one such case, and our politicians should change the law so that only crimes under English (or Scottish) law can be extraditable offences.