Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
Christopher Price asks, Sunday, January 2, 2005, why Evidence was withdrawn from the Lipstadt Trial appeal
Evidence withdrawn from the Lipstadt Trial appeal
I NOTE that at your appeal following the libel trial re Lipstadt & Penguin Books you proposed to introduce two new expert witness statements but withdrew them at the last moment. The court described this manouevre as follows:
"25. We also mention at this point that there were before the Court two applications to call fresh evidence in support of the application. The first, made well before the hearing, was to call evidence from Mr Germar Scheerer (born Rudolf), who holds a diploma in chemistry, and Mrs Zoe Polanska-Palmer, who was detained in Birkenau Camp. The respondents had prepared voluminous evidence in reply. In the event, that application to call fresh evidence was not pursued. We express our dismay at this combination of events; the preparation of very detailed evidence (exposing the respondents to great expense in preparing a reply and the members of the Court to considerable pre-hearing reading) and the withdrawal of the application."
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David Irving responds:
Those are two fair and interesting questions, and deserve extensive answers: the answers may surprise you.
Question 1: As you will see from the preliminary work we did on rebuttal, which I have only partially posted on my website, we were prepared for a full scale battle in the Court of Appeal, as we still consider that on every single point scored by Deborah Lipstadt's legal team they were in the wrong; under Lord Woolf's new Rules, we had the disadvantage of having first to apply for permission (leave) to appeal, parallel to the actual appeal itself; and in the event this permission was denied, so there was no actual appeal.
However, the following may not be without interest: I was not foolish or vain enough to imagine I could carry the legal battle into the Court of Appeal in person, as I had to my own satisfaction in the lower court, and this meant hiring a competent barrister -- which I did -- who of course had to be instructed by a solicitor. Therein lies the rub.
The first firm of solicitors who took on the case, a few days after Gray J handed down his perverse Judgment in the libel action, were Goldsmith & Co; they had been recommended to me by Nikolai Tolstoy, and they performed well at the hearing before Gray on Costs; however their senior partner Goldsmith (a practicing Jew) then announced that his firm would not act for me in the appeal, citing his religion as sufficient reason.
This was unconscionable in my view and precisely the sort of narrow-minded hypocrisy that generates anti-Semitism (if I disadvantage him because he's a Jew, then that is anti-Semitism; the other way around, and he and his kind see it as a perfectly acceptable practice. Several newspapers roundly criticized Goldsmith for his bigoted attitude. To their credit, his partners expressed serious regrets to me over his lack of professionalism). I would have been quite within my rights to insist on Goldsmith's seeing it through to the end as, absent the most cogent reasons, a solicitor cannot quit without his client's consent (and indeed without the Court's permission either).
I had no desire however to have solicitors who might sabotage my case. At short notice, I had to find a replacement: again on personal recommendation, I instructed one Nigel Adams, a one-man law firm with little or no experience in anything relevant, as it turned out (he could not type, or even handle e-mails at first).
As the weeks passed, you will find that my letters to and about this clod-hopping, bumbling, verbose, and useless lawyer grew more and more caustic; the entire burden of preparing the court files for the appeal fell on the respondents, and meanwhile his billing became more and more inflated; he put in a demand for eighty thousand pounds at one stage just to keep marking time. [Website note, Sunday, July 17, 2005: He and his law firm have since been disbarred.]
After discussing it with an anguished counsel, who complained that he was receiving no instructions from Adams at all, I fired the solicitor a few days before the date set down for the Court to hear the appeal.
The reasons were many, other than those I have cited. Expert witnesses have a statutory duty of neutrality and objectivity as between the parties; we intended to submit to their Lordships that Lipstadt's principal expert witness, the Marxist Prof Richard "Skunky" Evans, upon whose every word the Court (Mr Justice Gray) had seemed to hang, had perjured himself in the witness box when he declared under cross-examination that he held no personal views about me; the book he was writing even as he spoke those words was by now published in the USA -- called there Lying about Hitler, it was so venomous about me that no UK publisher would even print it as it stood.
We now also knew about the huge sums of money that the defence had paid to Evans and the other expert witness to procure from them the statements that they did.
Unfortunately, my counsel established -- around the same time that the eighty thousand pound bill was submitted -- that Nigel Adams was seriously derelict in his duties as a solicitor: e.g., he had failed to give the respondents statutory notice of the new evidence we intended to call in the form of witnesses and the "Skunky" Evans book itself; he had not provided to them copies of the expert report I had commissioned from Germar Rudolf on the chemistry of cyanide compounds in brickwork; he had failed to have the affidavit of Auschwitz survivor Zoe Polanska-Palmer sworn, and much else besides.
The evidence was vital to the appeal. We now made a miscalculation: we believed that having had to divest ourselves of Nigel Adams, this useless drag on the wheel, at the eleventh hour, the Court of Appeal would postpone the hearing (set down for just two days hence), by three weeks to enable me to instruct the new law firm (the seemingly respectable and efficient monolithic firm of Amhurst, Brown, Colombotti, ABC). ABC would then take the proper steps to repair the damage done by Adams.
I called an emergency hearing of the Court to hear our plight. ABC were in court and (having received some thirty thousand pounds cash from me that morning, which all but emptied our family's bank account) agreeable to coming onto the record. To our dismay, the three Judges of Appeal pointed out that they had a full calendar, they had read all the files in preparation, and they were the Court best constituted to deal with the matter. The hearing would go ahead in two days' time.
Learned counsel had no alternative therefore but to withdraw all the new evidence we had prepared, as you have stated, and to argue the appeal [June 2001] largely on matters of law alone.
When I hear outsiders mock those gallant folks who decide to act in person, without solicitors, I can only reply with a knowing chuckle: been there, done that -- done both, in fact, and I know which I prefer, every time. I have just had to dismiss yet another firm of highly-paid do-nothing solicitors, Fenwick & Co, and later this year, in 2005, I am to start an action against a senior partner of ABC for the crucial negligence in the matter which led to the seizure and destruction of my entire possessions in 2002. The phrase "gebranntes Kind" seems tailor-made for me.
Question 2: You do not appear to be well-acquainted with my actual views. Read my closing statement to the Court before Mr Justice Gray, and read too the Aumeier file which I first found and posted on my website. I am interested only in the truth.