David Irving arrives at the Court of
Appeal, ignoring Professor Lipstadt's
Friday, July 20, 2001
loses Holocaust denial appeal
Staff and agencies Friday July 20, 2001
CONTROVERSIAL historian David
Irving today faces possible bankruptcy
proceedings after losing his appeal against a high
court libel ruling which branded him a "Holocaust
The court of appeal in London upheld last year's
judgment against Mr Irving, saying that American
academic Deborah Lipstadt had been within
her rights to accuse him of denying the
Mr Irving had sued
Prof Lipstadt and her publisher, Penguin, for libel
over her 1994 book, Denying the Holocaust: The
Growing Assault on Truth and Memory. He said the
book had destroyed his livelihood and generated
waves of hatred against him.
Giving his judgment
in the libel case 15 months ago, Mr Justice
Gray said that 63-year-old Mr Irving had, for
his own ideological reasons, deliberately
misrepresented historical evidence and portrayed
Hitler in an unwarranted favourable light.
In the 333-page judgement, he described Mr Irving
as a Holocaust denier, falsifier of history, a
racist and an anti-Semite.
Last month, Mr Irving's counsel, Adrian
Davies, argued that the author had never said
that the killing of the Jews was "in any way
excusable". He added that Mr Irving's work must be
assessed in the context of what was reasonably
available to him at the time he was writing books
such as Hitler's War, which was published in the
Giving judgement today, Lord Justice Pill
said that Mr Gray was "fully entitled" to find that
Prof Lipstadt and Penguin were not guilty of libel.
He said: "Where we have been invited to consider
evidence in detail, it does not in our judgment
diminish the soundness of the judge's conclusions."
Mr Irving was not in court for today's
announcement. He was said to be busy promoting
sales of his new
book on Winston Churchill.
The historian had faced a £2m bill for
legal costs after the libel trial and admitted that
he had no money to appeal. Last year he embarked a
fundraising tour in the US and funded his appeal
with the help of contributions from supporters.
Today the court ordered that he make an interim
payment of £150,000 to the defendants.
Mark Bateman, a solicitor for Penguin,
said: "The only comment that we can make is that it
is a very predictable outcome. It is a shame that
we have been dragged through the court of appeal
when there was really no issue in Mr Justice Gray's
judgment -- his judgment was sound."
Mr Bateman added that the £150,000 would
have to be paid within 21 days or bankruptcy
proceedings could be instituted against Mr
Related items on this website:
Guardian, Wednesday June 20, 2001: 'Holocaust
denier' back in court