Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day007.12 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 MR RAMPTON: What I say is this: it is not negligent, negligence is no part of this case, I am not the least interested in the qualities or efficiency of Mr Irving's research or anything like that; what I am concerned about is two things. He dignifies himself, and Professor Watt, for example, was no doubt called for this purpose, perhaps . P-98 by some others, as an historian. He then lends his considerable weight, if that be right, to repeated and I have to say from time to time very offensive Holocaust denial statements. He does that, not as he would if it were Hitler that he was interested in researching, he does that upon the basis, the flimsiest possible basis, the Liechter Report. Along down the road as your Lordship will hear, he thinks of other reasons why there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz. But Liechter is the foundation of his denial. For a man to do that, who glorifies himself as an serious historian, is morally wrong. Now that is defamatory. One of the aspects of this case is that he has done it because of his political "with a small P" sympathies and attitudes. He is, we have pleaded, a right-wing extremist, and he feeds this Holocaust denial into audiences of right wing extremists. MR JUSTICE GRAY: And he done it deliberately, in other words, it is not negligent. MR RAMPTON: He has deliberately not been to Auschwitz and looked at the archive, never mind Moscow. I have been to Auschwitz, I have not been to Moscow. I have seen many of the documents in the archive and they are -- well, they are what they are. Professor van Pelt deals with them. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Go back to the camp officials, that does mean, does it not, that if your case is that Mr Irving deliberately shut his eyes to that corpus of evidence. . P-99 MR RAMPTON: He did not even care about it. MR JUSTICE GRAY: And his case is, well, I was not an Holocaust historian, maybe I knew that some of that evidence was there, but I did not think it was any part of my function to go and trawl through it. MR RAMPTON: Then he should have -- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Then we do not need to trawl through it in this trial, do we? MR RAMPTON: My Lord, if he will accept that his denial is false. If he will accept that it happened as described by Professor van Pelt and dozens of other people; that the eyewitnesses are telling the truth, those reports of Hoess, the commandant, are perfectly well-known to Mr Irving, for example. He knows all about the Weber and Weisler Report that came out during the War. No doubt he knows all about Jean-Claude Pressack's (?) ^^ book. They are there for anybody to read. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not sure whether I see why you are now saying, rather contrary to what you have been saying before, that we have to make a finding of fact as to what happened in Auschwitz. MR RAMPTON: No, absolutely, I have never said that. I am not saying that. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Why should he accept that those camp officials are telling the truth when they say they saw what they say they saw. . P-100 MR RAMPTON: Because then, my Lord, it is very easy, if you will not accept then that I have to lay out the evidence which would have been accessible to him if he had bothered to look before opening his mouth. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, but only in the sort of general sense of, let us put it as you might cross-examine, Mr Irving, are you aware that there are statements made by ... and then we can list them and name them and give them positions within Auschwitz, Hoess and all the rest of them; did you read a word of their evidence? MR RAMPTON: That is right, the answer will be "no", what you did do, Mr Irving -- one has to know that this is his position. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I know, that is why I tried to -- MR RAMPTON: I know, well, he has not come clean, to use your Lordship -- MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, I disavow that expression now. MR RAMPTON: If that is the position, that is fine, Professor van Pelt can go back to Canada, specifically though Mr Irving has to accept, before that can happen, that the Liechter Report is indeed bunk and very easily detected bunk, because what a responsible historian cannot do, unless he is motivated by some sinister ulterior motive, is nail his colours to the mast, as he said he did, without critical review of the mast to which he is nailing his colours, namely the Liechter Report. And that is . P-101 exactly what he did. If he will concede that that was, to put it neutrally, a complete mistake, because Liechter is bunk, if he will concede first that a lot of the other evidence is freely available to anybody who bothers go and look at it; a lot has been published in books. But that he did not care to look at it. But nonetheless went about his Holocaust denial in these various forums, why then we can close down the evidence, apart from what he said in these various places. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, thank you very much, Mr Rampton. Mr Irving, I do not think we will be able to quite conclude this argument, but I think the ball is in your court, because the admissibility of this evidence and how much detail we need to go into in regard to it seems to me to depend, to an extent, what you are going to say about it. MR IRVING: Which your Lordship does not know yet, of course. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Which I do not know yet and you do not really have to tell me, we can deal with this on the hoof as we go through your cross-examination. It may have to come to that. But I have to have an eye on how long this trial is going to last and it seems to me -- MR IRVING: Well, I threw a lifeline to your Lordship. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is not the predominant consideration, it has to be a feature of my thinking, it seems to me there . P-102 may well be sense in dealing with the -- I have used the camp official's eyewitness accounts as an example, dealing with that body of evidence in a rather broad way because if you say, "well, I was not familiar with the detail of it", then Mr Rampton may achieve what he needs for his purpose by putting to you, in effect, you shut your eyes to it deliberately. MR IRVING: I can say in two lines if that will assist you what my position on the four or five camp officials will be; that I was not familiar with the evidence of the lower camp officials. I was partially familiar with the evidence of Camp Commandant Hoess. I have reasons to discount that evidence, which I will bring out during cross-examination of the experts. But the reasons have only become apparent to me now I have done the research for the trial. But at the time , of course, I had this gut instinct against eyewitnesses in the first place. I have always preferred to use concrete documents rather than statements of people, for whatever reason. My Lord that does not help your Lordship very much at this stage. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It does not help us in the sense that it does not enable me to make a ruling which will ... MR IRVING: I am hoping that your Lordship will be able to make -- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Direct which evidence we can safely exclude and which we admit, I am afraid. . P-103 MR IRVING: Your Lordship is now aware of my arguments as against fraudulence in this action. I am hoping your Lordship will make determinations from time to time as to what is admissible and what is not on the issues as pleaded, and possibly at a later date, once you have heard my remarks about the eyewitness, or went a bit further down the road we have had a chance to cross-examine Professor van Pelt, then you can possibly even make a ruling on the basic issue as to the admissibility of what happened at Auschwitz or not, if I can put it like that. MR RAMPTON: My Lord, can I add one thing, I know it is a little irregular, but it may help. Mr Irving says that now with hindsight he sees reasons to doubt what, for example, Hoess said, I believe that that is an irrelevant observation. What he now sees as being flaws in Hoess' evidence is quite beside the point, we are not concerned with what he now sees; what we are concerned with is with Mr Irving's state of mind, his bona fides, at the time when he made these denial statements. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, but that really is having the best of both worlds, is it not? You are wanting me to see what Hoess said and to be satisfied that he is correct in what he says. MR RAMPTON: No. MR JUSTICE GRAY: But you seek to prevent Mr Irving from showing why he does not accept Hoess. . P-104 MR RAMPTON: No, my Lord, that it is perhaps a slight misapprehension, it is probably my fault, on your Lordship's part. I do want you to see what Mr Hoess says, in just the same way as Mr Irving could have seen it before he spoke in public. I do not need your Lordship to accept what Hoess said is true. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is where I think I joined issue with you earlier on. MR RAMPTON: I need your Lordship simply to say this -- MR JUSTICE GRAY: The evidence was there. MR RAMPTON: This evidence is suggestive of a strong probability it was there, and it is not such obviously rubbish evidence that one would join immediately with Mr Irving and say, "no, there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz"; quite the contrary. That is all I need to do because all I am doing by looking at the evidence is suggesting what an open-minded, careful historian would have found if he had looked at the evidence. MR JUSTICE GRAY: But you see open-minded, careful -- MR RAMPTON: Open-minded, leave the "careful" out of it. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, "careful" is not the ... MR IRVING: Open-minded historian without an ulterior motive, beyond informing the public of the truth would have found if he had looked. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is the right formulation, yes. I will, if you would find it helpful, both of you, make a ruling, . P-105 but I think, really, we are going to have to deal with this on a bit of a piecemeal basis. Would it help if I gave an indication maybe at 2 o'clock what I think the -- MR RAMPTON: Well, it would -- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Guidelines should be. MR RAMPTON: I am sorry, I did not mean to interrupt. It would very much help, because it will put Mr Irving in the position of deciding whether or not, in order to save time and everybody's labours, whether or not there are not some concessions that he ought to make. MR IRVING: That rather implies that I can answer under oath in any way that is not true. MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, it does not imply anything of the sort. MR RAMPTON: No, I meant before he gives evidence. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I will try and say something which helps at 5 past 2. (Luncheon Adjournment) (Please see separate transcript for Ruling) MR IRVING: My Lord, I think that admirably clarifies the situation. I hope that you will agree that it was a useful exercise to conduct at this point in the trial. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I most certainly do because I think it may keep the case in slightly more reasonable bounds than might otherwise have been so. MR IRVING: I think that this was the right time to conduct . P-106 that exercise, being several days into the trial. Thank you very much, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Are you both happy to proceed with cross-examination on the topic of Auschwitz? MR RAMPTON: Indeed I am. I have not of course got a transcript yet. We have been trying to follow it on the screen. May I see if I have understood the last part of your Lordship's ruling correctly? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. MR RAMPTON: If and in so far as Mr Irving should contend that he was entitled to rely on the Leuchter report in the way that he did, then I have a gate open, as it were -- not that I want it to, I would much rather it did not -- for me to go through the detail, in effect. Is that right or not? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Sorry, I am not quite sure. The detail of what? MR RAMPTON: If he said should say, I maintain that I was entitled to rely on the Leuchter report, then the detailed criticisms of the Leuchter report may become relevant. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I totally agree. What I was intending to say right at the end of my little ruling was that that is really open season, the whole of the Leuchter report.
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