THE passage to which Evans is referring in a confused way is on Page 102 of the trial transcript for Day 18, February 10, 2000. Although even Lipstadt in her book made no allegations of either racism of anti-Semitism against me, the leading defence counsel Rampton decided to play both cards, and Mr Justice Gray allowed him to get away with it. Seeking to counter this scandalous ploy, I pointed out that Penguin Books Ltd, Lipstadt's co-defendants, were still peddling in bookstores the novel The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan, which contained viciously anti-Semitic passages about its villains; I produced a copy of the book bought that morning in Bond-street and proposed to put it to Evans in cross-examination. Rampton leapt to his feet and objected: "My Lord, this is a kind of insanity. I feel as though I was in one of Lewis Carroll's books. Mr Irving brought this action in respect of words published by my clients. The only defence is that what is said is true, amongst them that Mr Irving is an anti-Semitic." (This of course was an untrue statement by Rampton). "What can it matter that there may have been some author from the distant past, The Thirty-Nine Steps, who also, on some occasion, might have made a remark as an anti-Semite?" My point was that the very people who, according to Rampton, accused me of anti-Semitism might first cast out the mote in their own eye, as I told the judge. He disagreed.
[Note these transcripts are being moved to this website and will be available again shortly]