Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 32: Electronic Edition

Pages 56 - 60 of 222

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    Whatever other limited excuses - whether of
 1publisher might have (quite wrongfully) deployed for
 2publishing this malicious and deeply flawed work were
 3destroyed from the moment when they received my writ in
 4September 1996, and were thus informed, if they did not
 5know in fact already, of the nature and scope of the
 6libels it contains. And, as said, they have continued to
 7sell it, hoping no doubt to cash in on, to profit from,
 8the notoriety gained by these libel proceedings, which is
 9a textbook case of Rookes v. Barnard if there ever was
10one, since the book they are selling still contains even
11the several libels which they have made no attempt here to
12justify. They have to justify their allegations -- I am
13referring, of course, my Lord, to the ----
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
15 MR IRVING:     --- matters they have pleaded section 5 on
16originally. They have made no attempt to justify their
17allegations or their defence fails -- I am sorry. They
18have to justify their allegations, or their defence fails;
19and as your Lordship is aware, where the defamations are
20particularly grave, a higher burden of proof falls upon
21them than the mere balance of probabilities that is
22normally acceptable. In both Defendants, moreover, there
23is clear evidence of malice, both in those few documents
24which the author of this work has disclosed -- I stress
25the word "few"; pitifully few documents have been placed
26in my hands -- and in the fact that the same firm of

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 1publishers had previously distributed a work, a book, in
 2which I was variously caricatured as Adolf Hitler and
 3wearing swastika eyeglasses.
 4     The very worst of the libels are so blatant that
 5neither Defendant has insulted the intelligence of this
 6Court by offering any justification to them. They hope
 7instead to divert the court's attention by reference to
 8distant and notorious matters of history and by calling me
 9a racist. In consequence, for 30 days or more of this
10Court's time, we have had to rake over the embers of what
11may be one of the greatest crimes known to Mankind: a
12harrowing, time-wasting, needless effort, which has
13yielded even now few answers to great questions and
14mysteries which even the world's finest academics have so
15far not managed to unravel.
16     I come now to one of the first of these
17unanswered and unjustified libels which will come as a
18surprise to many people in this courtroom because there is
19no reference to it in Mr Rampton's summary. On page 14 of
20the book, the Defendants published one of the gravest
21libels that can be imagined for a respectable English
22citizen who lives a very public life, namely that I
23consort with the extremist anti-Semitic Russian group
24Pamyat, with violent anti-Israeli murderers, with
25extremist terrorists, and with Louis Farrakhan, a Black
26Power agitator who is known to be acting in the pay of a

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 1foreign power, namely the Libyan dictator. This is not
 2just the simple allegation of associating with
 3"extremists", the kind of people who use fountain pens to
 4deliver their extremism, about which they have made so
 5much. The words on page 14 are as follows - and I make no
 6apology, my Lord, for reminding the Court of them, the
 7Second Defendant wrote:
 8     "The confluence between anti-Israel,
 9anti-Semitic, and Holocaust denial forces was exemplified
10by a world anti-Zionist conference scheduled for Sweden in
11November 1992. Though cancelled at the last minute by the
12Swedish government, scheduled speakers included black
13Muslim leader, Louis Farrakhan, Faurrison, Irving", that
14is me, "and Leuchter. Also scheduled to participate were
15representatives of a variety of anti-Semetic and
16anti-Israel organisations, including the Russian group
17Pamyat, the Iranian-backed Hizbollah and the
18fundamentalist Islamic organization Hamas".
19     Now, that whole statement was a reckless lie.
20It appears from their discovery to have been based on a
21press release issued by the jewish Telegraph Agency in New
22York which neither that agency or the Defendants made any
23attempt to verify. The Court will have noticed in one of
24my bundles the letter which I sent to every Scandinavian
25Embassy at the time, anxiously denying this allegation. I
26have pleaded, as your Lordship is aware, that the innuendo

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 1was that I was "thereby agreeing to appear in public in
 2support of and alongside violent and extremist speakers,
 3including representatives of the violent and extremist
 4anti-Semitic Russian group Pamyat ... the Hizbollah ...
 5the Hamas ... Farrakhan ... who is known as a Jew-baiting
 6black agitator ... and he is known as an admirer of Hitler
 7and who is in the pay of Colonel Gaddafi".
 8     And "that the true or legal innuendo of the word
 9'Hizbollah' is that used to refer to and describe a known
10international terrorist organization ... in the Lebanon,
11also known as Hizbollah whose guerrillas kill Israel
12citizens and soldiers ... provoking retaliation, and which
13organization has been determined by President Clinton ...
14as being among the enemies of peace and, whose officials
15and armed activists are now being hunted down by the ...
16Israeli army".
17     As for the Hamas, much the same, I set out in
18paragraph 12 of my statement of claim that "the true or
19legal unnuendo of the words 'Hammas' is that of an Islamic
20fundamentalist terrorist organization similar in nature to
21the Hizbollah".
22     I submitted to your Lordship at the beginning of
23this trial a representative selection of news reports from
24reputable, reliable outlets, including the BBC, on the
25murderous nature of the organizations involved, concerned.
26     In my pleadings I also argued that by these

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 1allegations I had "been brought into hatred, ridicule,
 2contempt, risk of personal injury and/or assassination".
 3I know, my Lord, the law of defamation has no concern for
 4people's personal safety, but it certainly has concern for
 5their reputation; and the allegation that I was consorting
 6with the violent extremist body who goes around with
 7machine guns and bombs and bullets is substantially more
 8serious, in my view, than the allegation that I consort
 9with people who use their fountain pens to disseminate
10crack pot ideas.
11     In my pleadings -- the nature of the libel, and
12the damage that it caused, hardly needed arguing in detail
13here. Put in into domestic context, if the Defendants, if
14the Defendants, had equally untruthfully stated, for
15example, in a Channel 4 television documentary (and there
16is a reason why I say that) that I had consorted with
17Ulster loyalist death squads who were part of a conspiracy
18to murder Roman Catholic nationalists, itself a grave
19accusation which would also put me at risk of
20assassination, and if the Defendants made no attempt to
21justify that libel, then I respectfully submit that your
22Lordship would have no hesitation giving judgment in my
23favour. I submit there is no difference fundamentally
24between these examples.
25     Now, I was going to say that the Defendants have
26relied on section 5 of the Defamation Act, but

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