Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day026.16 Last-Modified: 2000/07/25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I understand the submission you are making, but I should tell you this, that as I understand, anyway, the law, the Defendants are entitled to put forward by way of justification material which would support any defamatory meaning which the words can bear. If they are able to persuade me that somebody reading Professor Lipstadt's book could take the view that what she is saying is that you associate with right-wing extremists, even if they are not violent extremists, then it appears to me that, arguably at any rate, the Defendants probably are entitled to rely on this body of evidence. MR IRVING: Except that is not an issue that I have pleaded in my Statement of Claim. MR RAMPTON: Oh, yes it is. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think you have. MR IRVING: My Statement of Claim. MR JUSTICE GRAY: We went through it. That is why it was relevant to go through what Professor Lipstadt wrote as . P-141 well what you complain of as a meaning, because the Defendants are not confined, you must take it from me, to the meaning you put on the words. They are entitled to justify what she wrote in any meaning that the words can bear. This is all a bit technical. I am trying not to be unhelpful. MR IRVING: I appreciate it is technical. I have read the authorities as far as I have been able to. It is just my understanding of the law was that the allegation of extremism alone is not defamatory; holding extreme views is not defamatory, and to be in the same room as people who told extreme views is also not necessarily reprehensible, unless they are advocating the overthrow of governments by violence or something like that. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It may be a question of degree. Shall I hear what Mr Rampton says and then you can reply? MR RAMPTON: I am going to be both technical and I hope common-sensical all at the same time. First of all, if your Lordship turns to page 2 of the Statement of Claim, probably so-called, as it happens, page 14, one notices that there is nothing, and this is a technical point, about violence at all. The actual drift or thrust of this is: The confluence between anti-Israel, anti-semitic and Holocaust denial forces, including of course Mr Irving. There is no mention of violence there. It may be, I know not, that in the public mind some of the persons mentioned . P-142 there, perhaps Mr Faurisson or perhaps Mr Leuchter, perhaps even Mr Irving, is associated with an intention to commit violence. I doubt it. MR JUSTICE GRAY: And the groups particularly. MR RAMPTON: Sure, but it would have to be pleaded as an innuendo and it is not. That is the technical point. Even if it had been, it would make no difference at all to the Defendants' right to justify the words which actually appear on the page, which are that Mr Irving has contributed to a confluence between anti-Israel, anti-semitic Holocaust denial forces. It is that contribution which he, along with his associates, has been making these last 10 or 20 years that we wish to set out to prove, showing him not just sitting in a room with whoever might happen to be in a waiting room in a railway station with whoever might happen to be there, but leading a banner-waving bunch of neo-Nazi thugs. Your Lordship will see the video tomorrow. MR JUSTICE GRAY: This would confine you to anti-Israel, anti-Semitic and Holocaust denial. MR RAMPTON: Yes, but anybody who advocates the return of Nazism as a credo or ideology is automatically going to fit all those three categories. The fact that they may also wish to see a return of the Reichsmark or whatever it might be, has nothing to do with the case at all. The fact is that the material which is punted, . P-143 if I may use that word, around these meetings is all anti-Semitic and Holocaust denial stuff. Your Lordship has seen quite a lot of it already. I am afraid to say, whether in German or in English, it is all of the same water. That is the first thing. The second thing is this, that if one goes to the pleaded meaning (i). MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am sorry to interrupt you, Mr Rampton, is there anything else that is relevant in the book? MR RAMPTON: In the book, yes, under 161, line 123. These lines are so squashed together I cannot separate them. "An ardent admirer of the Nazi leader, Irving placed a self-portrait", etc., etc. "Irving, a self-described moderate fascist, established his own right-wing political party founded on his belief that he was meant to be a future leader of Britain, he is an ultra-nationalist", whatever that may mean, "who believes that Britain has been on a study path of decline accelerated by its misguided decision to launch a war against Nazi Germany". Hitler apology is one of the leading features of neo-Nazism, certainly in Germany and, in my belief, in other parts of the world as well. It will be seen, and that is one of the features of this material, that its common theme, they celebrate the Fuhrer's birthday every year; they celebrate the birthdays of his close associates like Rudolf Hess and Martin Bormann. That is . P-144 very much a feature of anti-semitic, anti-Israel Holocaust denial scene, of which I am afraid Mr Irving is very much a figure of in front of the stage, at least was until the mid-1990s. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I was just going to ask you if it is right to say that really there is no justification put forward for what one might call the violence sting which might be conveyed even without an innuendo being pleaded. MR RAMPTON: Miss Rogers has corrected me. She says there is strictly an innuendo, but I mind not about that. She is quite right. It is on page 7 of the pleading somewhere or other. Yes, paragraphs 11 and 12. So I was wrong about that, but it does not make any difference because I am still entitled to justify the natural and ordinary meaning. MR JUSTICE GRAY: But you are not seeking, which is the question, to justify any meaning that Mr Irving associates with the sort of violent types who one rather infers for most of the membership of Hamas? MR RAMPTON: Maybe. I am certainly not seeking to justify ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Maybe is yes, is it not? You are not? MR RAMPTON: I do not know whether one does or whether one does not associate those people with violence. MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, you are not justifying that invitation. MR RAMPTON: No, I am not justifying association with terrorists. I am justifying association with the most . P-145 ugly kind of neo-Nazi types, in particular in Germany and in America. One sees how he pleads the case on page 5 at the bottom of the page in (i), that the Plaintiff is a dangerous spokesman for Holocaust denial forces who deliberately and knowingly consorts and consorted with anti-Israel, anti-semitic and Holocaust denial forces. One can stop there because the "and who" is then disjunctive. MR JUSTICE GRAY: There is a bit over the page. MR RAMPTON: Yes, but it is disjunctive. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I see why you say that. MR RAMPTON: Because it would to have say "Holocaust denial forces who advocate and resort to violence", etc., but it does not. It falls into two distinct parts. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. The next question I suppose that arises, I have not looked at RWE 1 and 2 beyond glancing at them, you are saying, are you, that they all come within the umbrella of the confluence of anti-Israel, anti-semitic and Holocaust denial forces? MR RAMPTON: Your Lordship has seen some of the material which has come from Mr Irving's own pen or his own lips on these occasions, and unless I am completely up a gum tree, it does seem to us that that is some of the most virulently racist and anti-Semitic material that one has ever seen. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do not worry about that. MR RAMPTON: No question. That is our case and it is not one . P-146 that I am going to back off very easily, I have to say. Those are the sorts of occasions when like-minded people, and we shall identify them one by way, what the organizations are, what they stand for, who their personnel are, how the personnel all link up together, that you have, in effect, for example in Germany a network of what may properly be called "neo-Nazis" and there is no other word for them, of which Mr Irving is a member. MR JUSTICE GRAY: There is another aspect which I should have put to Mr Irving and I will in a minute, but I just want to ask you about it. One of the main thrusts I suppose of the libel, and certainly of the way you put your plea of justification, is really the historiographical thrust, namely that ---- MR RAMPTON: Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: --- there is misinterpretation, as you say, after misinterpretation, and that races the question of reason ---- MR RAMPTON: Motive. MR JUSTICE GRAY: --- or motive, yes. Would you say that one may see, I will not say a truer side, but another side of Mr Irving's approach to these issues, if one looks to see not only what he says himself but what he is prepared to have said by those with whom he has consorting? MR RAMPTON: Yes. I do not mean this in any literal sense, but he has prostituted his skills and his talents, and they . P-147 are considerable, in the service of I can only say a restoration of a kind of Nazi anti-semitic ideology. That is I have always said the obvious motive for the lies which he tells when he writes history about Adolf Hitler, and that is the motive for his Holocaust denial. The whole thing hangs together. If we are allowed to pursue this line of defence, your Lordship will see it, what this is what happens when he goes to these gatherings, whether they are the United States or in Germany or in this country or whether ever it may be. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes,. MR RAMPTON: Then one sees the picture of the whole man; perhaps not the whole man, but three important parts of the man: What he thinks, who he speaks to and how he speaks, and then when he comes to his so-called history how he writes. The three strands together form a powerful picture of a man who is writing, falsifying history because he worships Adolf Hitler, Nazi doctrines and hates Jews and other people of different backgrounds. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I am still of the view that what is written about those with whom you consort is defamatory or potentially defamatory. I am also of the view that what the Defendants are seeking to set up by way of justification of that defamatory meaning is something that is open to them. One of the reasons, which I have not asked you about and therefore I ought to put it to you . P-148 now, is that it may well be that all this material, quite apart from being relevant to justify the words, is also relevant or may be relevant to explain how it comes about that these errors to which the Defendants point in your writings, how they can be explained. Do you follow me? It is the point I raised with Mr Rampton. MR IRVING: This is very similar to the idea that I omitted to present your Lordship in the original presentation of the submission, which is that another form of extremism which is illegal is of course extremism in the way of a foreign government, and this would be something similar, holding extreme views in being beholden to ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, in some ways that is another motive. MR IRVING: I appreciate that could be defamatory. I have no objection at all to them leading evidence on that or cross-examining on that kind of matter, but I think that the court should very properly rein in any kind of cross-examination that goes to guilt by association, and I am sure your Lordship would quite clearly be able to identify what any attempt of that is. If they can establish that I have had any kind of associations with any kind of neo-Nazis or Nazi subversists or revolutionaries or people of the kind that Mr Rampton was fantasizing about, then by all means let them try. MR JUSTICE GRAY: What I think they are entitled to do is to call evidence to the effect that you have either . P-149 associated with groups that are in themselves right-wing or in some way anti-Semitic or anti-Israel or involved with Holocaust denial, and that they are also entitled to put to you statements made by those who are intimately involved with organizations of that kind or indeed statements made at meetings when you were on the platform or even present. MR IRVING: My Lord, we are faced then with the problem of definition. They say Mr Irving addressed the Women's Institute of Los Angeles or something which we claim is an extremist neo-Nazi organization, how does your Lordship know? They are not going to put in the expert reports.
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