Swedes block Danish neo-Nazi extradition
TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 15 Nov 2008, 12:14
Published: 15 Nov 2008 12:14 GMT+01:00
A German prosecutor in Frankfurt am Man is investigating a distribution chain of so-called white power music with subsidiaries in several countries. The postal order network supplies hundreds of thousands of CDs with neo-Nazi, holocaust-denial and generally racist content. Some of this content has been distributed in Germany, in contravention of strict national laws.
The German authorities have sought judicial assistance and extradition of suspects from both Sweden and Denmark, but in Sweden they have met with opposition.
An underlying problem for the German prosecutor is that several of the offences that the man is suspected of are perfectly legal in Sweden.
These include the membership of a criminal organisation, the use of symbols such as the swastika and denial of the holocaust. Furthermore the hate crimes included in the charge list are barred by the statute of limitations.
Denmark has meanwhile been more cooperative and offered legal help to the German authorities and also approved the extradition of two leading figures within the Scandinavian arm of the neo-Nazi movement to Germany: Stefan Günther and Flemming Christiansen.
The case concerns a Danish citizen, resident in Sweden, who has distributed CDs manufactured in Australia. He has forwarded the material by post and by car.
The Swedish Chancellor of Justice Göran Lambertz has declined to provide legal assistance for the charges that relate to the posted items, as the CDs are to be considered to having been distributed in Sweden and are therefore protected by national law.
Lambertz has for the same reason rejected the extradition application.
Transporting the material by car is not however protected by Swedish law, but Lambertz does not consider the charges sufficient to warrant extradition. The offences have been, at least partially, committed in Sweden, and the period for prosecution has also for the most part expired.