Generous To A Fault
The fourth extradition hearing for Dr Gerald Toben kicked off at a few minutes after 2.00 pm on Thursday 29 October - Joshua Rosenberg of the BBC, affectionately known as 'Lenin' by his sparring partners accompanied by some otherwise nondescript journalists with the exception of one massively over weight individual, trooped into the press area at the side of the court.
Judge Daphne Wickham then entered and gave her summing up with forensic precision on the validity of the European extradition warrant. The public - nearly all Toben supporters included David Irving and Lady Michelle Renouf, and were crammed into the public area behind armoured glass where they could hear fragments of the poorly amplified proceedings suitably muffled by the sound of the air-conditioning.
The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) had been plotting to arrest, or rather pounce on, Toben since January 2008. Judge Wickham stated that the extradition related to 'anti-Semitism's and 'xenophobia, but concluded that the German government had provided no information as to the precise nature of the charges. She quoted a previous extradition case relating to people trafficking in which details had been provided as a precedent. The prosecution case was' vague and imprecise' - inadequate on three grounds - no dates were given relating times of the alleged offences, no places where the offences were committed were specified and no websites or printed material were mentioned. Apart from that the warrant was in perfect order; in other words a monumental blunder by the crazed and arrogant German establishment - not her words, unfortunately. Toben's supporters were startled by this decision though and tried to take in the implications.
However, the sting was in the tail - Dr Toben, in theory, was theoretically free to leave prison, and should, logically have been given his passport, a ticket to leave the UK, the promise of massive compensation payment for wrongful arrest, or rather kidnap, and imprisonment, and the promise of a prosecution of police and politicians for 'conspiracy to pervert the course of justice' which carries a maximum penalty of a life sentence. Kevin Watson for the defence asked for bail and judge Wickam set the amount at £100,000 rather than the £10,000 that had previously informally been indicated - the payment would have to be paid in cash by not more than two persons within a week. Toben would have to report daily to a police station, would not be able to hold press conferences, attend meetings, distribute material, or post on the internet, but would (in act of unparalleled generosity) be allowed to access the internet.
Daphne Cumberland, acting for the prosecution, said the German government wished to appeal and I understand they have a week to seek out a judge in chambers and set a date to appeal on the decision. There is also the possibility that a second, corrected extradition warrant would be served on Dr Toben - however, this is though to be unlikely, as it would not look good. There is now a slight chance of victory due to pressure from some elements of the media, the Liberal Party and even the Jewish Chronicle - presumably aware of the precedent it would set for Israeli war criminals / politicians passing through Britain. I therefore now hope for the best, but I still expect the worse.