Michčle, Lady Renouf
A VICTORY FOR EXACTITUDE!
vital legal precedent has been dispelled! On Wednesday 29th October at
2pm, within ten minutes, a victory for exactitude was declared! The
German onslaught, charging with a stick and balloon on a trojan horse
to breach the bastion of British jurisprudence fell at the first
professional lance, to the British empirical tradition. Defeat for
what the Deputy Senior District Judge at the City of Westminster
Magistrates' Court on London's famous Horseferry Road called "vague and
imprecise" concepts which "muddy the waters" of the judicial process.
European Arrest Warrant was executed against a peaceful Australian
academic, Dr. Fredrick Töben whilst he sat on an American Airlines
aircraft in transit at Heathrow airport. Since October 1st, he has
been sitting in a Wandsworth prison cell, facing extradition and five
years in Mannheim prison, Germany's dungeon for political prisoners of
conscience. The case has prompted concern that European laws
restricting academic freedoms might be extended to Britain via the back
door of the European Arrest Warrant.
Dr. Töben and his defence team succeeded in having the extradition
process discharged under Section 2 of the Extradition Act, because the
warrant was not particularised and the conduct alleged was vague.
See the British press report of Dr. Töben's victory:
Dr. Töben's victory clearly wrong footed the Daily Mail's journalists. First
described by the Mail at 5pm in their story "Töben wins his case!" as
"a prominent Australian academic", just over two hours later it had
been amended to "controversial Australian academic".
within another hour the Mail backtracked again to describe Dr Töben as
just plain "Australian academic", the qualifying adjectives having
proved too problematic...
court now awaits an appeal by the German prosecuting authorities, who
are represented in the U.K. by the Crown even though Dr. Töben's
alleged conduct does not constitute an offence in the U.K. In the
meantime, Dr. Töben has been granted bail but with stringent bail
conditions, the most challenging being a cash security of Ł100,000.
journalists were present in court to hear the judgment; first to arrive
was Daily Telegraph legal columnist Joshua Rozenberg, who had already
written two informed articles on earlier stages of Dr. Töben's case.
And in his latest:
Mr Rosenberg did well in clarifying that:
sum of money is described as "security" rather than a surety because it
must be lodged with the court and not merely pledged. Other bail
conditions imposed by [Deputy Senior] District Judge Daphne Wickham are
residence at an approved address, daily reporting to the police,
surrender of all passports, no participation in public meetings, no
media interviews and no use of the internet — even to receive
information. It is difficult to see how this last condition could be
Daily Mail did well to acknowledge the argument over bail, writing: "Ms
Cumberland opposed bail today but Ben Watson, defending, successfully
argued it would be 'abhorrent' to keep him behind bars any longer."
prosecution will appeal to the High Court, which must be within seven
days, including the day of the hearing, and our defence team will
challenge that appeal.
the brief chance one had to exchange a few words through the glass slit
of his secure dock, Dr Töben reassured me, that as his proposed bail
addressee, he would not let me down. Needlessly, for I know that we
both wish this law to reach due free and open public attention and if
necessary to take the battle for normal debate up to the House of
Lords. A veteran who has long challenged the seemingly invincible
debate-deniers, this St. George is in good spirits. Dr. Töben realises
the challenge ahead, but is confident that his case will be presented
forcefully and professionally so that every expert opportunity will be
advanced on his behalf.
challenge ahead is as pointed out by Liberal Democrat Home Affairs
spokesman Chris Huhne MP, who wrote In last Friday's (24th October)
Independent an article entitled 'Holocaust denial and a case that shows
flaws in the EU - It is important to reopen the debate on arrest
warrants'. Mr. Huhne observed:
warrant was principally designed to ensure swift extradition between
member states for offences such as murder, human trafficking, money
laundering, organised or armed robbery, rape and terrorism. When the
legislation was considered, the Commons committee warned about the
inclusion of racisim and xenophobia in the list of offences where it
was unnecessary to prove it was against the host and issuing country's
law, precisely because of the differences in the interpretation from
one EU country to another. The cleanest solution would be to exclude
racism and xenophobia. ...In Britain we value freedom of speech too
highly to see it sacrificed... Strength of argument ... will defeat the
possible under a European Arrest Warrant brought by a German court for
what that country, and not this country, deems an opinion crime on the
Internet, namely, peaceful academic historical source-criticism of the
"Holocaust", we seemed (and may still be) on the brink of losing that
most precious treasure of our Classical culture, respect for civil
debate. Via this EAW abuse, a backdoor was being forced open. How well
is our parliament standing guard?
Scotland QC was the Home Office minister who introduced an amendment to
the Extradition Bill on 1st July 2003. She assured Parliament that this
amendment "put it beyond any doubt that where any part of the conduct
has occurred in the UK, we can extradite only if the dual criminality
requirement has been satisfied." To clarify the matter further she
made special reference to the very offence with which Dr. Töben is now
Baroness Scotland told Parliament:
denial ...is a very particular offence. We would say that those
engaging in that endeavour in part in this country would not be capable
of being extradited as the offence would in part have allegedly been
committed in this country, and in this country it is not an offence. So
we would not extradite those involved in it."
five years later Baroness Scotland is now the Attorney General,
ultimately in charge of the Crown Prosecution Service, whose staff have
liaised with the German authorities to expedite the very extradition
which Baroness Scotland specifically promised could not take place.
Gareth Julian, head of extradition at the CPS and ultimately
answerable to Baroness Scotland, has been in court throughout the
proceedings against Dr. Töben.
Dr. Töben is extradited, it will be clear that Baroness Scotland misled
Parliament as to the effect of the Extradition Bill which she piloted
and the amendment which she introduced. Her position as Attorney
General will be untenable, as British citizens and overseas visitors
could have no confidence in the Crown's senior law officer. If she has
any sense of personal honour or constitutional propriety, Baroness
Scotland will surely be considering her position.
much for ministerial responsibility, but today's decision by District
Judge Wickham is a serious indictment not only of the German
prosecuting authorities who issued the European Arrest Warrant in 2004,
but of the UK's Serious and Organised Crime Agency, which certified the
warrant nine months ago and has now seen it thrown out of court.
the UK first incorporated the European Arrest Warrant into UK law at
the end of 2003, it designated the National Criminal Intelligence
Service (NCIS) as the "central authority" for processing such warrants.
When in 2006 NCIS was amalgamated with the National Crime Squad and
relevant sections of the Immigration and Customs services to create the
Serious and Organised Crime Agency, this SOCA took over the role of
UK central authority for European Arrest Warrants.
legal work involved in extraditing suspects under an EAW is handled by
the Special Crime Division of the Crown Prosecution Service whose
members, according to the attached (partially declassified) report for
the EU Council of Ministers, act together with a team of four
barristers from private practice as agents and advocates for the
issuing (in this case German) authorities.
According to the 2007 EU Council of Ministers report:
an arrest a Special Crime Division prosecutor will examine the EAW to
seek to pre-empt any possible legal challenges and to confirm that it
complies with section 2 of the domestic law. Should any discrepancies
come to light the prosecutor will e-mail a written advice via SOCA to
the issuing Member State specifying the remedial steps considered
necessary. The purpose of this examination is to advise the issuing JA
as to the case's prospect of success and to identify at the earliest
possible stage any further information which may be considered prudent
to obtain to afford the best possible chance of winning at court."
other words the EAW must first be certified by SOCA, then examined by
the Special Crime Division of the CPS. A colossal waste of public money
and court time (not to mention the unfair detention of Dr Töben) has
resulted from SOCA wrongly certifying this warrant and the CPS then
failing to resolve what the district judge has since found to be
serious failings in the warrant.
Julian, head of extradition at the Crown Prosecution Service, has been
closely involved in the Toben case at every stage and has attended
every court hearing. He was one of the key officials interviewed for
the EU Council of Ministers report attached and quoted above.
the SOCA certification of the report, and despite all of the CPS
liaison with the German authorities, Deputy Senior District Judge
Wickham dismissed the warrant with rigorous exactitude befitting her
quizzical Miss Marple-esque demeanour:
'I find that the particulars are vague and imprecise, I find the warrant invalid and therefore discharge the defendant.'
Michčle, Lady Renouf