From the world's press
Quick navigation  

[verbatim trial transcripts]

January 31, 2000 (Monday)



... preparing and copying seven sets of the bundle ("E") for today's hearing (the bundle called "Global"); then indexed it until 3 a.m.

Up at 7:50 a.m. Took Jessica to school, finished the bundle. By taxi with Professor Kevin MacDonald to the Court. I prophesied that the defence would not want to cross-examine him. The Judge allowed me to put key documents of Bundle E to him, and complimented me on the economy with which I did so.

The portrayal by the professor of his teachings and books was sometimes not very audible, given the American voice in which it was put, and Judge Gray at times seemed impatient, asking about the relevance to this action.

I explained that my case is that the Second Defendant [Deborah Lipstadt] made herself part of an international global endeavour to destroy my name, and that her documents came from bodies which were all part of that endeavour. I drew MacDonald's attention to the affidavit served in 1996 by Michael Whine (of the Board of Deputies of British Jews) confirming that he had fed a (lying) document about me through a similar Canadian body secretly to the Canadian government with the intention of getting me banned from that country, and Macdonald confirmed that this was the way these bodies worked. As we came to "Document 500", the strange item from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Toronto, with the references in it to the need to "destroy Mr Irving's legitimacy as a historian," the judge confirmed that he now fully appreciated the relevance of it to the action; the covering letter warning Deborah Lipstadt to treat it with the utmost delicacy was also appreciated. The professor stated that he had never heard me utter an antisemitic remark, even in private circles which might have appreciated it.

The defence had no questions for cross-examination, and Professor MacDonald was discharged. His fare, etc., have been money well spent.

As they have now been mentioned or read out in the court, these items come into the public domain and I shall post them on the website this evening. MacDonald left around midday.

Richard Rampton QC resumed cross-examination. He tried to put to me the Zamosc document, but I invited the Judge to order that Rampton identify the "anonymous" source (he now admitted that he knew who it was), to enable me to issue a sub poena duces tecum if need be for production of the surrounding documents. The Judge is receptive to the idea and asks Rampton to consider identifying the source; he cannot see why it should not be identified.

The afternoon session, with me back in the box undergoing cross-examination, went much better than usual. Rampton seemed nervous and unsure of himself, and was rattled when I several times caught out the odious Professor Evans (their chief expert witness, who has yet to testify) in crude language errors in his expert report. Once he translated a February 1939 reference (Oberstes Parteigericht, "... sie müssen dran glauben") as an incredible "they will have to believe in it." I interrupted at once to point out that this is German slang for "getting killed," e.g., like going for a Burton. Rampton tried to make sense of the Kristallnacht 1938 in his clients' interests, but failed to impress the judge I think -- particularly when he produced an alternative version of the 2.56 a.m. November 10, 1938 telegraphic order issued by Rudolf Hess's office banning arson attacks on businesses, etc., "on orders from the highest level" -- a version which omitted the Stellvertreter des Führer's letterhead. This original the judge now wants to see, and boy will I show it to him tomorrow! He said, "This seems most serious to me."

Rampton's misery was complete when he failed to find an item in HITLER'S WAR on page 851 to which Evans had referred; I said, "Perhaps Evans mistranslated the page number too!", to general satisfaction in the public galleries.

A member of the public congratulated me on the flattering portrayal of the action published in Saturday's The Independent. I had not seen it, and shall post it immediately I find it.

Mr Rampton ran out of prepared material at 3:30 p.m.; he reveals that he probably will not call the Moscow Professor Tarasov now (which means that the immense body of work we prepared for T.'s cross-examination is now wasted). He will cross-examine on THE DESTRUCTION OF DRESDEN tomorrow.

I left the Law Courts feeling for the first time that today at least the tide has changed; as Goebbels would have written, the defence can see their bearskins floating away. I waited twenty minutes for a No.23 bus, and finally took a taxi; as I climbed in, a No.23 pulled up behind. Aaargh.

7:20 PM South African radio, an Islamic station, phoned, wanting to interview me; but I said I would not cooperate. Benté is I am glad to say now on her feet today, though still looking deathly ill. -- At 9 PM the Australian radio ABC phoned for a long interview.

|Return to Clippings Index | ©Focal Point 2000 e-mail:  write to David Irving