Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day015.05 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 MR RAMPTON: What Mr Irving knows, because I think I have told him before in open court, my Lord, is this. If there is material which in his eyes undermines or affects the credibility of witnesses who are not to be called as live witnesses, he is entitled to put those materials before the court. A. You are not telling me anything I do not know, of course. I am perfectly entitled to do that under the circumstances. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, we are trying to be constructive about this and I am actually trying to save you some-- -- A. Yes. I deeply regret this because we have informed the defence at every stage which witnesses we are calling and which we are not calling. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. I have just said to Mr Rampton what you heard me say, and I am sure he will let you know if and . P-37 when he is abandoning any other witnesses. But if Professor Funke is going to be called, then surely what he has to say, for whatever it may be worth, ought to be put. MR RAMPTON: If your Lordship pleases. That is what I said. I might do it in very broad outline only. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is a matter for you, but something has to be put to give Mr Irving the opportunity to deal with it. A. It makes it very difficult for me to put in a rebuttal document unless these witnesses are there to put them to, which may very well be why they have adopted this tactic. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Shall we see how much of a problem that proves to be? I think less than perhaps you think. Having cleared the decks in that way, shall we now have your Mr Millar? Do you need to speak to him before he goes into the box? MR IRVING: No. MR RAMPTON: I do not know which file his witness statement is in, I am afraid. C4, my Lord, tab 3. < (The witness stood down) < Mr Peter Millar, sworn. < Examined by Mr Irving. Q. Mr Millar, do you have a copy of your witness statement with you? A. No I do not. Q. Your Lordship will find it in ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have got it. . P-38 MR IRVING: Mr Millar, when was the last time we met? A. Several years ago. Q. About eight years ago? A. About eight years ago, yes. Q. We have not rehearsed today's discussion in any way? A. In no way at all. Q. No way at all. I just take you very rapidly through your witness statement. In the third paragraph you say that the Russian archives were in a very dilapidated building and that the filing system extremely archaic. Is that correct? A. Absolutely. Q. In a minute or two I will be taking you through the diary which I wrote, one entry, one day's entry, concerning our discussion with the Russian archivists. Is it correct to say that, as you say in your witness statement, no written agreement was made, everything was arranged verbally? A. Absolutely. Q. If you turn back to the first page in your witness statement, please, at the bottom of that paragraph, "After Mr Irving was allowed access, he told me that the boxes of microfiches were stored in a very bad condition, in weak cardboard boxes, with the individual boxes over filled and no kind of special packaging to protect them". Can the witness be given a bundle of photographs, five photographs . P-39 showing the boxes, or a number of boxes, and a number of microfiches, the glass plates, and a number of photographs made on those microfiches? A. (Same handed) Yes. Q. Are those the boxes that, as far as you can recall --- - A. Indeed, I remember them very well. I remember noticing in particular the contemporary 1940s packaging. Q. In other words, these were the original 50 year old boxes that the glass plates were still stored in? A. Oh, yes, quite clearly. Q. Did you gain the impression that the Russian archivists, I am going by your statement again, were unfamiliar with the concept of outsiders having access to their material? I lived in the Soviet Union for three years and Russian archivists are completely unused to anyone having access to anything. Q. So a research room is something they are not familiar with? A. They would not even have ones to cope with. Q. Did they facilities for reading these glass plates? A. Not at the time, no. Q. So they had no microfilm reader? A. There was no microfilm reader. Q. Nothing at all? How did I manage to read them, then, to your recollection? A. I am not actually -- we looked at them at the time. They . P-40 were not full script. You had a magnifying glass, and possibly a light source behind. Q. When I went to Moscow, had the Sunday Times provided me with a list of episodes to look specifically for? A. We had certainly at the Sunday Times, and I advising them, looked at certain episodes that we were particularly interest in, yes. Q. Was I going to be there only for a limited space of time? A. As far as we knew. Q. Would it therefore have been practicable for me to have browsed at length in the diaries for passages which were not on the list? A. I do not think so. Q. Yes. I just want to ask you once again. There was no written agreement between us and the Russians? A. There was no written agreement that I was aware of. Whether or not anything else had been arranged between the legal department of the Sunday Times I have no idea. That was not my capacity. Q. There was no verbal agreement between us and the Russians to your recollection or, if there was an agreement, what nature did the agreement have, to your best recollection? A. My best recollection was verbal agreement that we would have access to the plates, that we would look at them and eventually this would be with a view to publishing some of the contents. . P-41 Q. Yes. You say to publishing some of the contents. Was that restricted to a book or any kind of publication that we desired? A. I do not recall that being discussed. Q. Did they limit in it in any way? A. I do not recall them doing so. Q. On the third page of your witness statement you say that you double checked some of the transcriptions that I had made, and the translations. Did you find any reason to criticise the work that I had done? A. Certainly the translations -- I am a fluent German speaker and the translations were excellent. The transcripts I had some difficulty because the archaic Gothic script is difficult to decipher, but in those stretches where I could make out words it seemed to be accurate. Q. Moving rapidly on, the final matter on your witness statement is that you have visited me on several occasions in my office in London, in my study. A. At the time when we were negotiating over the Goebbels diaries, yes. Q. This was 1992, is that correct? A. That is correct. Q. Did you see hanging over my desk or anywhere in that office an Adolf Hitler portrait? A. No. I would have noticed that. Q. Was there an Adolf Hitler signature on the desk in a frame . P-42 or anything like that? A. There was, as I refer to in the statement, a water colour which I was extremely interested in, and you said that it had been painted by Adolf Hitler and I said it was rather better than my mother-in-law's. Q. Was it an original or a duplicate? A. It was, as far as I was aware, an original. I asked you that and you told me it was. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Your mother-in-law has got a picture by Hitler as well? A. My mother-in-law does water colours, sir. MR IRVING: Finally, Mr Millar, would you turn to the little bundle of the diary? Is it lying around there somewhere? Otherwise, I will hand one up to you. I would ask you to just to go to one entry of June 9th 1992. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do you have a copy for me, Mr Irving, or have you handed it up before? MR IRVING: It has been handed up before about four or five days ago with a green corner on it. I have one here. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think I will have it here. Is the first line "invitation needed"? MR IRVING: Almost certainly, my Lord. It looks like a diary. There are obviously many entries referring to Mr Millar, but I think we will stick with the one day in Moscow when we negotiated with the Russians, June 9th 1992, Tuesday. Does your Lordship have it? . P-43 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have not got there yet but I think I have. MR IRVING: This is the famous diary. There are no little racist ditties in it, I am afraid. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us stick to the task in hand. MR IRVING: "9.30 a.m. collected Millar at Metropole". That is the hotel. I would ask Mr Millar, would you read rapidly through those two paragraphs? A. Yes, I have read them. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have not so can you give me a moment? (Pause for reading). MR IRVING: In fact, I am going to ask you to read the first four paragraphs down to the words "Left at 5 p.m." MR JUSTICE GRAY: (Pause for reading) Yes. MR IRVING: Very well. I think there is no need to read them out in court is there, my Lord? MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is really a matter for you. There is certainly no need to. MR IRVING: I would just ask him to paraphrase it. Am I correct in saying this shows us arriving at the archives, dealing with a man called Dr Bondarev? A. Yes. Q. Who was Dr Bondarev to your recollection? A. He was curator in charge of the archives. Certainly he was the man who controlled access. Q. Was he in overall charge of the Russian archive system? A. No, only of that particular building. . P-44 Q. Who was in overall charge of the Russian Federation archive system? A. The man whom we had to contact to gain access was Bevininski at the Russian Federation Archives building. Q. Who? A. Sorry, Tarasov. I am confusing the two. Q. Professor Tarasov. You negotiated with him in Russian? A. That is right. Q. And I talked with him in English and German? A. That is correct. Q. And eventually he lifted the telephone and he telephoned Bondarev. A. Yes, he did. Q. What kind of directions did he give to Bondarev in general terms? A. He confirmed -- we had already seen Bondarev -- that we were to be allowed to see the plates and to work with them. Q. Yes. Was any kind of restriction placed on that access in that telephone call, do you remember? A. No, certainly not in that telephone call. Q. Was there any kind of written paper passed between myself and Bondarev and Tarasov on that occasion? A. No. Q. I only have one other point I wish to examine you on, Mr Millar, and that is as follows. Two or three days . P-45 later, I borrowed two of the glass plates from the archives without permission. A. Yes. Q. That is correct. Did I put the plates back to the best of your knowledge on the following day? A. At my insistence. Q. Was there any indication that I was intending not to put them back? A. No, there was not. Q. What did we do with those plates on the night that they had their night out, so to speak? A. What was done with those plates was that you took them and, using two pieces of cardboard, left them outside the archive building. Q. Yes, but what did we do with them? A. They were then shown to the Sunday Times representative. Q. Did we have prints made on that night by a man called Sacha? A. That is right. They were taken away and used to take a photographic copy. Q. You expressed your disapproval of this technique? A. I expressed my disapproval of the fact that they had been removed from the archive because I thought it was jeopardising the chances of our continued access. Q. Quite right. On the following day, did the archive allow us to remove plates with permission? . P-46 A. After some discussion with them, yes, that is right.
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