Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 26: Electronic Edition

Pages 141 - 145 of 159

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    It may satisfy the court of course to the contrary,
 1is what the intention is. That is why I would ask your
 2Lordship to rule that unless they can produce that
 3evidence or cross-examine on that kind of evidence, then
 4they should limit their cross-examination purely to that
 5kind of association, otherwise we do go into day after day
 6of looking at isolated relationships or happening to be in
 7the same room or whatever, which is very unsatisfactory
 8I think.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I understand the submission you are making,
10but I should tell you this, that as I understand, anyway,
11the law, the Defendants are entitled to put forward by way
12of justification material which would support any
13defamatory meaning which the words can bear. If they are
14able to persuade me that somebody reading Professor
15Lipstadt's book could take the view that what she is
16saying is that you associate with right-wing extremists,
17even if they are not violent extremists, then it appears
18to me that, arguably at any rate, the Defendants probably
19are entitled to rely on this body of evidence.
20 MR IRVING:     Except that is not an issue that I have pleaded in
21my Statement of Claim.
22 MR RAMPTON:     Oh, yes it is.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think you have.
24 MR IRVING:     My Statement of Claim.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     We went through it. That is why it was
26relevant to go through what Professor Lipstadt wrote as

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 1well what you complain of as a meaning, because the
 2Defendants are not confined, you must take it from me, to
 3the meaning you put on the words. They are entitled to
 4justify what she wrote in any meaning that the words can
 5bear. This is all a bit technical. I am trying not to be
 6unhelpful.
 7 MR IRVING:     I appreciate it is technical. I have read the
 8authorities as far as I have been able to. It is just my
 9understanding of the law was that the allegation of
10extremism alone is not defamatory; holding extreme views
11is not defamatory, and to be in the same room as people
12who told extreme views is also not necessarily
13reprehensible, unless they are advocating the overthrow of
14governments by violence or something like that.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It may be a question of degree. Shall I hear
16what Mr Rampton says and then you can reply?
17 MR RAMPTON:     I am going to be both technical and I hope
18common-sensical all at the same time. First of all, if
19your Lordship turns to page 2 of the Statement of Claim,
20probably so-called, as it happens, page 14, one notices
21that there is nothing, and this is a technical point,
22about violence at all. The actual drift or thrust of this
23is: The confluence between anti-Israel, anti-semitic and
24Holocaust denial forces, including of course Mr Irving.
25There is no mention of violence there. It may be, I know
26not, that in the public mind some of the persons mentioned

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 1there, perhaps Mr Faurisson or perhaps Mr Leuchter,
 2perhaps even Mr Irving, is associated with an intention to
 3commit violence. I doubt it.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     And the groups particularly.
 5 MR RAMPTON:     Sure, but it would have to be pleaded as an
 6innuendo and it is not. That is the technical point.
 7Even if it had been, it would make no difference at all to
 8the Defendants' right to justify the words which actually
 9appear on the page, which are that Mr Irving has
10contributed to a confluence between anti-Israel,
11anti-semitic Holocaust denial forces. It is that
12contribution which he, along with his associates, has been
13making these last 10 or 20 years that we wish to set out
14to prove, showing him not just sitting in a room with
15whoever might happen to be in a waiting room in a railway
16station with whoever might happen to be there, but leading
17a banner-waving bunch of neo-Nazi thugs. Your Lordship
18will see the video tomorrow.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     This would confine you to anti-Israel,
20anti-Semitic and Holocaust denial.
21 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, but anybody who advocates the return of
22Nazism as a credo or ideology is automatically going to
23fit all those three categories. The fact that they may
24also wish to see a return of the Reichsmark or whatever it
25might be, has nothing to do with the case at all.
26     The fact is that the material which is punted,

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 1if I may use that word, around these meetings is all
 2anti-Semitic and Holocaust denial stuff. Your Lordship
 3has seen quite a lot of it already. I am afraid to say,
 4whether in German or in English, it is all of the same
 5water. That is the first thing.
 6     The second thing is this, that if one goes to
 7the pleaded meaning (i).
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am sorry to interrupt you, Mr Rampton, is
 9there anything else that is relevant in the book?
10 MR RAMPTON:     In the book, yes, under 161, line 123. These
11lines are so squashed together I cannot separate them.
12"An ardent admirer of the Nazi leader, Irving placed a
13self-portrait", etc., etc. "Irving, a self-described
14moderate fascist, established his own right-wing political
15party founded on his belief that he was meant to be a
16future leader of Britain, he is an ultra-nationalist",
17whatever that may mean, "who believes that Britain has
18been on a study path of decline accelerated by its
19misguided decision to launch a war against Nazi Germany".
20     Hitler apology is one of the leading features of
21neo-Nazism, certainly in Germany and, in my belief, in
22other parts of the world as well. It will be seen, and
23that is one of the features of this material, that its
24common theme, they celebrate the Fuhrer's birthday
25every year; they celebrate the birthdays of his close
26associates like Rudolf Hess and Martin Bormann. That is

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 1very much a feature of anti-semitic, anti-Israel Holocaust
 2denial scene, of which I am afraid Mr Irving is very much
 3a figure of in front of the stage, at least was until the
 4mid-1990s.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I was just going to ask you if it is right to
 6say that really there is no justification put forward for
 7what one might call the violence sting which might be
 8conveyed even without an innuendo being pleaded.
 9 MR RAMPTON:     Miss Rogers has corrected me. She says there is
10strictly an innuendo, but I mind not about that. She is
11quite right. It is on page 7 of the pleading somewhere or
12other. Yes, paragraphs 11 and 12. So I was wrong about
13that, but it does not make any difference because I am
14still entitled to justify the natural and ordinary
15meaning.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     But you are not seeking, which is the
17question, to justify any meaning that Mr Irving associates
18with the sort of violent types who one rather infers for
19most of the membership of Hamas?
20 MR RAMPTON:     Maybe. I am certainly not seeking to justify ----
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Maybe is yes, is it not? You are not?
22 MR RAMPTON:     I do not know whether one does or whether one does
23not associate those people with violence.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No, you are not justifying that invitation.
25 MR RAMPTON:     No, I am not justifying association with
26terrorists. I am justifying association with the most

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