Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 9: Electronic Edition

Pages 6 - 10 of 194

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    It is a major departure from the old system. He
 1the powerful, wealthy litigant and the under-resourced
 3     My Lord, I am up against a powerful, wealthy
 4litigant here, as evidenced by the fact that I stand here
 5alone and on the other side of your Lordship's court are
 6sometimes between 20 and 40 experts, researchers,
 7solicitors, learned counsel, arrayed against me ----
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That had not escaped my notice.
 9 MR IRVING:     --- funded by the most enormous resources.
10Somehow, the sequence of events has got reversed. Your
11Lordship will remember that when we embarked on this two
12and a half weeks ago, we were looking at the prospect of
13holding off Auschwitz until towards the end of the
14discussions, but now Auschwitz has somehow come right up
15in front.
16     Their witnesses have been interspersed in the
17middle of my presentation of the case. It now turns out
18that Professor Robert Jan van Pelt is here at this time
19purely because it is convenient to him because he is going
20on a Holocaust junket to Stockholm on Thursday together
21with the Second Defendant. I do not see why I should be
22inconvenienced in this way, my Lord. I do not, frankly,
23understand why your Lordship is tolerating it.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Partly, Mr Irving, because you have not until
25now raised any objection. We have been discussing for
26some days now when Dr Van Pelt might give his evidence.

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 1I had understood (and I will be corrected by reference to
 2the transcript if I am wrong about this) that you had not
 3raised any objection and, indeed, I had understood you to
 4concur with his being interposed at this stage.
 5 MR IRVING:     But the inevitable result is, my Lord, that this
 6means that Auschwitz has been brought right to the front
 7of this case purely for the convenience of one of the
 8witnesses who intends to fly to Stockholm on this lavish
 9junket Thursday for which the whole court is having to
10hold its breath for a day.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am a bit puzzled, Mr Irving, about this
12protest because you were cross-examined for the whole of
13yesterday about Auschwitz, so there is no question of
14Auschwitz having suddenly being brought to the forefront
15of the case. It was brought to the forefront of the case
16when cross-examination was embarked on yesterday morning.
17 MR IRVING:     The inevitable result, of course, has been that it
18has driven a cart and horses right through my preparations
19for the major part of the case. Also, it has had the
20unfortunate effect of putting in front of your Lordship
21and, of course, the public the entire opposition case, so
22to speak, without my being able to lead all the evidence
23which I intended to lead in advance which is the normal
24way that it should have been conducted.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Of course that is right. In a case like this
26where it is judge alone, in a way one is able to be more

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 1accommodating with witnesses' personal difficulties.
 2 MR IRVING:     Yes.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     The problem I have now is that you are
 4telling me really I think for the first time that you are
 5unhappy about Professor van Pelt being interposed, but he
 6is here. We have been proceeding on the basis that he
 7would be interposed without any dissent from you. I am
 8rather reluctant, unless you want to press it, to change
 9the schedule.
10 MR IRVING:     Well, my Lord, it is obviously too late to change
11the schedule now, but I wish to draw your attention purely
12to the disadvantageous effect it has on me. Your Lordship
13has now been presented with all the hostile evidence in
14advance of the evidence which I would normally put first
15as the Claimant.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is a bit unreal. I have read all the
17expert reports before the case started, as you know and as
18Mr Rampton knows. So I knew very well what the case on
19Auschwitz against you is going to be.
20 MR IRVING:     With the utmost respect, my Lord, of course, a lot
21of our case depends upon the spin that various parties put
22on words ----
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Of course that is true.
24 MR IRVING:     --- and on documents which your Lordship has not
25even seen yet. The only way that I can introduce those
26documents, I believe, is by putting them to the expert

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 1witnesses. These are documents which your Lordship has
 2not even seen yet because, as far as I can see, the
 3bundles do not include them. This is the unfortunate
 4result. But I shall try to prepare it as well as can I
 5over the next few days, my Lord, but I cannot understand
 6why we are being held hostage to this convention in
 7Stockholm. It has nothing to do with this court. It
 8appears to be the only reason why Professor van Pelt was
 9come over at the beginning of the case rather than in the
10proper timing.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I must say I would have listened with great
12sympathy to the point you are now making if you had made
13it a bit earlier. Your problem is you have left it really
14until the very last minute to raise this objection.
15 MR IRVING:     If learned counsel had informed us that the only
16reason why Professor van Pelt was over at this end of the
17month rather than in the proper period was for his own
18personal convenience in order that he can combine it with
19this junket in Stockholm, then ----
20 MR RAMPTON:     That is just not right.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Let me hear Mr Rampton on this, Mr Irving.
22What is the reason?
23 MR RAMPTON:     It has always been my intention to start my
24cross-examination with Auschwitz. Because Mr Irving fell
25short in chief -- I know not why -- I started
26cross-examining earlier than I had expected. His original

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 1estimate for his own case was two to three weeks.
 2     I, therefore, got Professor van Pelt over here
 3for Monday, 24th January, when I was expecting to start my
 4whole cross-examination with Auschwitz. Stockholm, as it
 5happened, came later, his appointment at Stockholm.
 6Incidentally, I add that the First Defendant, Professor
 7Lipstadt, is not going to Stockholm, despite what
 8Mr Irving says. That is why Professor van Pelt is here.
 9     I then read, if I may, what Mr Irving said
10on Tuesday, 11th January, at the beginning of this case.
11This is page 5:
12     "I am perfectly prepared to have Professor van
13Pelt come over in the middle of whatever else is going on
14and we can take him as a separate entirety. He is
15certainly an extremely interesting witness to be heard".
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. I had got the impression that this was
17all happening by agreement really on both sides.
18 MR RAMPTON:     Yes. There cannot be any question about it.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, we are going to have Professor van
20Pelt now for you to cross-examine. But one thing I have
21said before now and I say it again, I am very conscious of
22the burden that is being placed upon you. It must be
23gigantic. I think it is going to get more difficult when
24you are cross-examining. If you want more time when the
25court is not sitting so that you have got the ability to
26prepare and so on, all you have to do is ask and within

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