Germany to pursue Holocaust denier's arrest

Gerald Toben is wanted for articles posted to his Web site; British court ruled against his extradition.

tobin 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
tobin 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Germany will continue to pursue a well-known Holocaust denier even after a British court ruled against his extradition and set him free, a German state prosecutor said Monday. Gerald Fredrick Toben is wanted on charges of denying the Holocaust for articles posted to his Web site, said Mannheim prosecutor Andreas Grossmann. Toben was arrested Oct. 1 on the German warrant at London's Heathrow airport while traveling from the United States to Dubai. But he was released from custody on Nov. 19 after a court ruled that "we would not have been able to satisfy the UK courts - for jurisdictional reasons - that the conduct amounted to an extradition offense," British prosecutors said in a statement. Although Toben is Australian and his Web site is hosted there, Grossmann said that German law allows for his prosecution here on charges of denying the Holocaust because the site can be accessed in Germany. "England will not extradite him, but we will continue to attempt to have him arrested in other countries," Grossmann said. Toben was previously arrested while traveling through Germany and convicted by the Mannheim court of Holocaust denial in 1999. He served seven months in prison before being released. More recently, Toben participated in Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's 2006 conference called to debate whether the World War II genocide of Jews took place, where he argued the Auschwitz death camp was too small for the mass murder of Jews to have been carried out there. The 64-year-old suggested only 2,007 people could have been killed at the camp. Researchers estimate that between 1.1 million and 1.5 million people - mainly Jews - were killed at Auschwitz by the Nazis. Toben's attorney did not immediately return calls for comment on Monday. But a statement from his Web site said that he will "proceed with his historical work secure in the knowledge that despite the perfidy of British politicians, the London courts have rescued their country's honor and preserved the proud heritage of Magna Carta."