'Holocaust denier' convicted of contempt in Australia

17th April 2009, Comments 0 comments

Gerald Frederick Toben, 64, was convicted in the Federal Court on 24 counts of contempt of court after continuing to publish material about Jews and the Holocaust on his Adelaide Institute website, despite 2002 orders to stop.

Sydney -- An alleged Holocaust denier wanted in Germany was found guilty of criminal contempt in Australia Thursday for defying court orders to stop publishing offensive material on the Internet.

Gerald Frederick Toben, 64, was convicted in the Federal Court on 24 counts of contempt of court after continuing to publish material about Jews and the Holocaust on his Adelaide Institute website, despite 2002 orders to stop.

Judge Bruce Lander said Toben, who will be sentenced later this month, had steadfastly refused to comply with the law.

He did not accept that freedom of speech "does not include the freedom to publish material calculated to offend, insult or humiliate or intimidate people because of their race, colour or national or ethnic origin", the judge said.

Toben told reporters he did not regret his actions, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

"If you believe in something and you want to have that freedom to express your opinions then you should be prepared for sacrifices," he said.

Toben was arrested in Britain in October last year under a European Union arrest warrant issued by Germany but a bid by German authorities to have him extradited to face charges of Holocaust denial failed.

He faces charges in Germany of publishing material on the Internet "of an anti-Semitic and/or revisionist nature" which denies, approves of, or plays down the Holocaust.

Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany and offenders can face up to five years in jail.

AFP/Expatica

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