Arrested for committing no crime.

#1
The guy might be a vile creature but the point is he has been arrested in the UK for something that is not a crime here on a european arrest warrant.

Dr Fredrick Toben was held at Heathrow at the request of the German authorities for publishing “anti-Semitic and/or revisionist” material between 2000 and 2004.
Full story in The Times.

Comment piece clicky

Crown Prosecution Service lawyers will put the case on behalf of the German authorities tomorrow that Fredrick Toben, an Australian doctor, should be extradited for offences allegedly committed in Germany.

The case is the latest example of the global reach of criminal laws - and of their impact between one European country and another.

The extradition request is being made under the European Arrest Warrant, a fast-track procedure to allow criminal suspects to be sent between European states.

The warrant, which came into force in January 2004, abolished the principle of “dual criminality” that existed under old extradition laws. This means that someone in Britain can be extradited for something that is not a crime here - as long as it is a criminal offence in the state requesting extradition.

The reform was rushed through in part as a response to terrorism after September 11. Ministers also argued that it would speed up a cumbersome and slow extradition process, helping criminals to be brought more swiftly to justice.

Critics pointed out, however, that people could find themselves charged with an offence they did not know existed because racism or xenophobia, for example, can be interpreted differently in different jurisdictions. The spectre of “thought crime”, a person facing trial for broadcasting xenophobic or racist remarks such as denying the Holocaust on an internet chatroom in another country - as alleged against Dr Toben - was the very criticism raised against the warrant before it took effect.

At the time ministers undertook that if such “offences” took place in Britain, the perpetrators would not be extradited. However, in defence of the European Arrest Warrant it is argued that a country cannot ask for someone to be extradited on suspicion of committing a far-fetched offence that would never be a crime in most states.

Lord Filkin, then the Home Office Minister, said when the legislation went through Parliament that no one would be extradited for conduct that was legal in Britain.
Edited to add second link.
 
#2
Welcome to the EU.

Referendum anyone?
 
#6
This is seriously worrying stuff. Its bad enough that freedom of expression is being curtailed - even if its for obnoxious people on the left/right/religious extremes - but this sets a precedent for one EU country to impose any law they create on the citizens of other countries.

The average topic on Arrse might well lead to criminal prosecutions, if it upsets some rabidly PC-minded government elsewhere.

How long before a pro-EU country makes it a thought crime to denigrate the EU? Would have seemed like a silly concept just a few years ago; today, it does not seem so incredible to contemplate...
 
#7
Two thoughts spring to mind

1)He's an Australian, so is the EU now going to explain to the Australian Government why they're nicking someone on a charge under German law that doesn't apppy to an Australian national? Or will the EU, an non existant state, feel that it's entitled to trample over the laws of another country when it says so..? Any chance any Burmese Government Officals going to be nicked for being part of a Government that shot people at demos?

How many Business around the world are now going to consider allowing their staff to travel to an EU country if there's the slightest risk some jumped up fourth rate EU country decides that that company has done something illegal under it's laws in another country?

2)HRA......Freedom of Speech I believe is a right under EU imposed laws. How does this square with German law then? Is this going to be another case of the rest of Europe giving us grief for not being "European" enough whilst ignoring EU laws as they deem fit?

I don't like the muppet, another deluded walt but I loathe the idea of another country telling us who to arrest becasue they say so...and I despise and loathe this spineless goverment of talentless no hopes and born liars....
 
#8
Crimson_Chin said:
isn't the same done when someone commits a crime abroad and we send them over there to face the music? (cant remember the technical term)
If they're a British Subject yes. But since this muppet has Australian citizenship then no, particurly since this could be seen as a Political crime, even more so since German law forbids extrading German citizens.........

Another country can apply for extradition of one of it's own nationals living in the UK, but it can get tricky, unless it's fairly straightforward matter. Pinochet was always going to be a tricky one as it was a Spainish court trying to arrest the former Head of State of Chile in a third country.
 
#9
Kitmarlowe said:
Crimson_Chin said:
isn't the same done when someone commits a crime abroad and we send them over there to face the music? (cant remember the technical term)
If they're a British Subject yes. But since this muppet has Australian citizenship then no.....
But not if its not a crime in the UK, or that was the promise when the law was passed.

Foreign governments can now dictate how you think in effect.

It sets an extremely worrying precedent.
 
#12
In-Limbo said:
Interpol 1 - Nazis 0
Thought police 1, free speech, 0.

Holocaust denial isn't "evil" or "cruel", it's just misguided flying-in-the-face-of-facts. If someone says that a circle has four sides, or that the sky is green, they're flying in the face of facts as well. Doesn't mean that they should be arrested for being so stupidly wrong though.

Arresting people for material crimes, fine, but making it illegal to think a thing? That's an idea that even Zanu NL haven't thought of yet.
Oops, I'd best keep my mouth shut, lest they catch on.
 
#13
In-Limbo said:
Interpol 1 - Nazis 0
Are you agreeing with this? Put asside the guys opinion, and thats all it is after all, and you think its OK to arrest someone for what they believe in, however repugnant, when such things are not a crime in the UK?
 
#14
Squiddly said:
In-Limbo said:
Interpol 1 - Nazis 0
Thought police 1, free speech, 0.

Holocaust denial isn't "evil" or "cruel", it's just misguided flying-in-the-face-of-facts. If someone says that a circle has four sides, or that the sky is green, they're flying in the face of facts as well. Doesn't mean that they should be arrested for being so stupidly wrong though.

Arresting people for material crimes, fine, but making it illegal to think a thing? That's an idea that even Zanu NL haven't thought of yet.
Oops, I'd best keep my mouth shut, lest they catch on.
Brings to mind 'hate crimes'.
 
#15
insert-coin-here said:
Brings to mind 'hate crimes'.
Oh come on. We can't bring ourselves to prosecute a bunch of rabit mouth breathing placard waving "behead those that insult islam" loonies for actively inciting religiously motivated disorder, but we can take on the dangerous and politically sensitive task of detaining a single individual who has committed no crime in this country?
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#16
It is a seriously worrying turn of events, I cant see how we can arrest him regardless of what shoite he may or may not have expounded as theories. Fair trials abroad anyone. This is one or two steps away from shipping home Greeks and Turks to do their national service!
Still dont worry, the govt will be sued by some uman rights lawyer and pay billions in compensation!
 
#17
I'm hoping when it goes in front of a judge it is ruled unlawfull.
 
#18
Hmmmmm!

Australian citizen commits a 'crime' in German and then skips the country. Shows up in the UK, and the Germans ask for extradition.

Two parts of the story need to be asked separately and not conflated.

First, ask yourself this question, if Dr Tobin was a kiddie fiddler/killer, would you feel happier in him being sent back to Germany to stand trial? If the answer is yes, then you're argument is purely based upon whether you see his 'crime' as a crime or a right to free speech. Second, if he had broken a UK law for a crime committed against a UK citizen, would you be happy if the Germans just ignored his transit? If the answer to this is no, then you are showing biased issues with the EU as an institution rather than the rule of law.

Whether the German Law on anti-semitism/race hate blah blah is valid is one question. Whether the UK should or should not sign up to Brussels-issued regulations is another. They are separate issue that should not be conflated.

Is it 'right' that Israeli citizens should be arrested on UK soil for war crimes allegedly committed on Palestinian territory?
 
#19
Squiddly said:
Bring on the referendum.
Never mind the referendum, bring on the revolution!
 
#20
Ord_Sgt said:
In-Limbo said:
Interpol 1 - Nazis 0
Are you agreeing with this? Put asside the guys opinion, and thats all it is after all, and you think its OK to arrest someone for what they believe in, however repugnant, when such things are not a crime in the UK?
What he's being lifted for? Is it not for bail dodging and fleeing a country which would constitute as a 'no-no' even in blighty? Perhaps it's all a ploy to up the asylum quota :)
 

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