Posted May 5, 1998
FRIGHTENED that further defamation alone will not get US Professor of Religion Deborah Lipstadt off the hook which she has herself wrought, with her recklessly libellous book Denying the Holocaust, friends of her defence lawyers Mishcon de Reya are frantically appealing, through the widely respected Board of Deputies of British Jews (BoD) and other Jewish organisations around the world, for funds to bankroll star lawyer (the already indecently wealthy) Anthony Julius with the fees that he intends to charge.
This seems to betoken fears that Lipstadt may fail in her defence (under English law, the rule is "loser pays all"). In the first days of May 1998, according to word from members of his staff, wealthy pals of Julius sent out shoals of letters to the traditional purveyors of such funds.
The signatories include Lex Garages chief Trevor Chinn, a leading member of the BoD who helped to slush-fund the Labour Party and Tony Blair's private office, and through Chinn even to addressees like wanted tax-criminal Octav Botnar.
Botnar is the former UK head of Japanese car manufacturer Nissan; working closely with the Norwegian, Dutch and Austrian tax authorities, the British internal Revenue authorities began prosecution proceedings against him for tax fraud - claiming that he had defrauded the UK of a nine-figure sum. The wanted octagenarian however fled to Switzerland, a country which does have its uses, forcing the Revenue to shelve its charges).
Chinn's letter appeals for money to help to destroy the "Holocaust denier" (as they infamously describe the historian) David Irving once and for all.
Odd bed-fellows, Prof. Lipstadt has chosen for herself - or perhaps not so odd after all.