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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day015.05

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
   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
   MR RAMPTON:  If your Lordship pleases.  That is what I
        I might do it in very broad outline only.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is a matter for you, but something
        to be put to give Mr Irving the opportunity to deal
   A.   It makes it very difficult for me to put in a rebuttal
        document unless these witnesses are there to put them
        which may very well be why they have adopted this
   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
        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
        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
        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
        witness statement.  In the third paragraph you say
        the Russian archives were in a very dilapidated
        and that the filing system extremely archaic.  Is that
   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.
        it correct to say that, as you say in your witness
        statement, no written agreement was made, everything
        arranged verbally?
   A.   Absolutely.
   Q.   If you turn back to the first page in your witness
        statement, please, at the bottom of that paragraph,
        Mr Irving was allowed access, he told me that the
boxes of
        microfiches were stored in a very bad condition, in
        cardboard boxes, with the individual boxes over filled
        no kind of special packaging to protect them".  Can
        witness be given a bundle of photographs, five

.          P-39

        showing the boxes, or a number of boxes, and a number
        microfiches, the glass plates, and a number of
        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
        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
        concept of outsiders having access to their material?
        I lived in the Soviet Union for three years and
        archivists are completely unused to anyone having
        to anything.
   Q.   So a research room is something they are not familiar
   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,
        your recollection?
   A.   I am not actually -- we looked at them at the time.

.          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
        with a list of episodes to look specifically for?
   A.   We had certainly at the Sunday Times, and I advising
        looked at certain episodes that we were particularly
        interest in, yes.
   Q.   Was I going to be there only for a limited space of
   A.   As far as we knew.
   Q.   Would it therefore have been practicable for me to
        browsed at length in the diaries for passages which
        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
        legal department of the Sunday Times I have no idea.
        was not my capacity.
   Q.   There was no verbal agreement between us and the
        to your recollection or, if there was an agreement,
        nature did the agreement have, to your best
   A.   My best recollection was verbal agreement that we
        have access to the plates, that we would look at them
        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
        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
        you double checked some of the transcriptions that I
        made, and the translations.  Did you find any reason
        criticise the work that I had done?
   A.   Certainly the translations -- I am a fluent German
        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
        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

.          P-42

        or anything like that?
   A.   There was, as I refer to in the statement, a water
        which I was extremely interested in, and you said that
        had been painted by Adolf Hitler and I said it was
        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
        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
        bundle of the diary?  Is it lying around there
        Otherwise, I will hand one up to you.  I would ask you
        just to go to one entry of June 9th 1992.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do you have a copy for me, Mr Irving, or
        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
        line "invitation needed"?
   MR IRVING:  Almost certainly, my Lord.  It looks like a
        There are obviously many entries referring to Mr
        but I think we will stick with the one day in Moscow
        we negotiated with the Russians, June 9th 1992,
        Does your Lordship have it?

.          P-43

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I have not got there yet but I think I
   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
        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
        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
        out in court is there, my Lord?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is really a matter for you.  There
        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
        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
        was the man who controlled access.
   Q.   Was he in overall charge of the Russian archive
   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
   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
   A.   Yes, he did.
   Q.   What kind of directions did he give to Bondarev in
   A.   He confirmed -- we had already seen Bondarev -- that
        were to be allowed to see the plates and to work with
   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
        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
        them back?
   A.   No, there was not.
   Q.   What did we do with those plates on the night that
        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
        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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