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Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 1: Electronic Edition
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1IN THE ROYAL COURTS OF JUSTICE
1996 I. No. 113
QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
2Royal Courts of Justice
4 Tuesday, 11th January 2000
7MR JUSTICE GRAY
9B E T W E E N: DAVID JOHN CAWDELL IRVING
11(1) PENGUIN BOOKS LIMITED
12(2) DEBORAH E. LIPSTADT
14The Claimant appeared in person
15MR RICHARD RAMPTON Q.C. (instructed by Messrs Davenport Lyons and Mishcon de Reya) appeared on behalf of the First and
17MISS ROGERS (instructed by Davenport Lyons) appeared on behalf of the First Defendant Penguin Books Limited
18MR ANTHONY JULIUS (of Mishcon de Reya) appeared on behalf of
19the Second Defendant Deborah Lipstadt
21(Transcribed from the stenographic notes of Harry Counsell & Company,
Clifford's Inn, Fetter Lane, London EC4
23 PROCEEDINGS - DAY ONE
1 Tuesday, 11th January 2000.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving and Mr Rampton, I am conscious that
3this court is not capable of accommodating all who would
4like to be here.
5 MR RAMPTON: Including counsel, my Lord!
6 THE CHAIRMAN: Including counsel -- you have rather more space
7than some of the people at the back. All I can say is
8that we have done our best to find a court that can
9accommodate the technology and is physically big enough to
10cope with all the bundles.
11 I would like to be able to say that we could try
12to find another court where everybody could be found a
13place to sit down, but I just do not think it is
14possible. I will make enquiries, but it is very desirable
15that everybody who wants to be here should be here and
16I am afraid they are not. So I will make enquiries, but
17I think we will probably have to stay here, so I hope
18everyone will put up with the discomfort and I am sorry
20 Mr Irving, I have a copy of your opening
21 statement. Are there any other preliminary matters that
22need to be discussed and decided before you embark on it?
23 MR IRVING: My Lord, I did address a letter to you within the
24last few days recommending that before I embark on my
25opening statement, with your Lordship's permission, we
26address one or two procedural matters ----
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I thought there might be.
2 MR IRVING: --- covering the opening phase and also how, with
3the agreement of the Defendants, we propose to structure
4the hearing of this action.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
6 MR IRVING: The most interesting part of the action in the
7light of history is, undoubtedly, the Holocaust and
8Auschwitz and is also, I think we all apprehend, the most
9complicated to prepare. By agreement between the parties,
10we propose to divide the action into these two phases, but
11basically all the rest followed by Auschwitz, if I have
12understood the proposals also made by the Defendants in
14 MR RAMPTON: I think that is a misunderstanding. I had
15supposed that we were going to do Auschwitz first, and if
16that causes Mr Irving a difficulty -- I am not saying
17whose fault the understanding is, but misunderstanding,
18however, it undoubtedly is -- we have scheduled our
19Auschwitz expert, Professor van Pelt, it to be here for
20the last week in January which is about when I expected to
21start my cross-examination.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So what is being proposed, that the whole
23case should be divided, as it were, into two?
24 MR RAMPTON: No, I do not think so -- well, in two, yes. What
25is proposed by us (and which Mr Irving has agreed to,
26though it appears there is a misunderstanding about the
1timing of it) was that Auschwitz should be dealt with as a
2discrete or separate topic.
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: With the Claimant's evidence and then the
5 MR RAMPTON: The Claimant gives his evidence, I would then
6cross-examine him and immediately following that or his
7own re-examination, I would call the Auschwitz expert for
8the Defence, Professor van Pelt, who can be cross-examined
9by Mr Irving.
10 I had expected that process to start at the end
11of this month. From what Mr Irving has just said, it now
12appears that he has thought that Auschwitz would come at
13the end of the case which is contrary to my
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am a bit surprised that there should be
16such a fundamental disagreement.
17 MR RAMPTON: I hear it now for the first time with surprise.
18I utter no word or criticism or blame. I do not know how
19it comes about. It may be that I should have when I have
20found out what has happened. But it is extremely
21inconvenient from our expert's point of view and he is not
22resident in this country. He is in Canada.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: On the other hand, Mr Irving must really be
24free as Claimant to take his own course, unless agreement
25can be reached to some other effect.
26 MR RAMPTON: I do not know there is much to be gained by having
1a discussion about that particular topic in front of your
2Lordship now. It seems to me we have to go back to the
3drawing board and work out a schedule which suits both
4sides. But, as matters presently stand, it would cause us
5a great deal of difficulty as we thought we had an
6agreement that we could start that topic first, but there
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I think it is right that we do
9want to spend time discussing this in open court unless
10and until it proves to be necessary. Do you agree with
12 MR IRVING: I agree, my Lord, except that I would remark that
13I received on Friday evening after close of business about
146,000 pages of document relating to van Pelt's evidence,
15though I am surprised that they would imagine they could
16launch straight into the preparation of the Auschwitz
17section of the hearing without not giving us time to
18examine each and every one of these documents and have
20 On the other hand, I agree, we do not have to
21discuss it in open court. I am perfectly prepared to have
22Professor van Pelt come over in the middle of whatever
23else is going on and we can take him as a separate
24entirety. He is certainly an extremely interesting
25witness to be heard.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:
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