9, 2004 (Monday)
TEMPERATURE this morning about zero, bright sun. Today, 12:30 p.m., is the first court day in the Lipstadt application to be given all my possessions.
The story in AR#25 of the defeat of Sara Salzman in Denver has caused much congratulation in letters I receive. "You cannot imagine how I enjoyed the demise of little Sara," writes Kurt H., enclosing a $100 cheque. And Irmgard S. writes: "Some parts of course are outright delicions, speak of Schadenfreude." She adds a touching postscript: "PS, my husband doesn't comprehend things anymore, but he is a happy man." How nice.
Death is overtaking many of my supporters, and there is a fair sprinkling of obituary and death notices in the letters I have recently opened. Memo: must finish Churchill, volume III, soon!
BY taxi at 11:30 to my barrister's chambers, off Fleet Street: Dr Johnson's Buildings -- how much history there still is around here, despite the Blitz. Adrian arrives five minutes after I do, at 12:05; a check of the Court List then reveals to our consternation that the session has been brought forward from 12:30 to noon. A brisk walk through the High Court to the chambers of Mr. Registrar Schaefer. [See separate note on the session that follows.]
One hour, one Registrar, two barristers, four solicitors, and I. The upshot is that my application for the return of all my books, research library, and archives to me, is allowed to go ahead, simultaneously with Lipstadt's, which is designed to prevent it and to Order my possessions turned over to her instead.
We had argued that she is not a creditor, and that there should be a preliminary hearing on her legal standing in this action. As we had requested, the Court decides to turn the whole matter over to a Judge in open court, in a hearing which may well last three to five days -- which is the last thing that Lipstadt and Mishcon can have wanted, as my application has now in effect been broadened to bring in the whose issue of abuse of process (the traditional enemy's real and sordid motive is to gain insight into my confidential records currently seized by the Trustee).
All very interesting. It is certainly smoking them out into the open.
Back at Hertford Street, I read the bundle of documents which Lipstadt's lawyers Mishcon de Reya exhibited to their witness statement delivered here on Christmas Eve (none of which I can yet post, as they are not yet in the public domain). Our only copy was in counsel's hands until now.
The official Trustee who seized my home of thirty-eight years and all my possessions in May 2002, when I was speaking in Seattle, or caused them to be destroyed, is clearly in a quandary. For nearly two years I have demanded the immediate return of all the "tools of my trade," to which I am entitled under the law, and that includes all my research papers and equipment.
The Trustee's own lawyers one year ago (January 10, 2003) took a cheeky and dismissive view, saying that a very strict view of the law "could confine Mr. Irving to only needing a pen and paper in Order to be an author." They recognized however that different criteria would apply to me as an historian. And another thing: the solicitors advised the Trustee, "Given the high profile" of this case, and "Mr. Irving's contentious characteristics" -- in other words I don't just roll over and lie down -- they should go to court again to get backing before disposing of any of my possessions.
The Trustee did nothing, and my own court action against them, begun a few weeks later in October last year, has caught them on the hop.
My action panicked Mishcon de Reya, the Jewish law firm used by Lipstadt, which had been furtively corresponding with the Trustee all along, as it turns out: and they scouted around their entire network for somebody to put up the money to buy all my papers first and thus pre-empt my court action.
Step forward Harry Mazal, OBE, that old sleaze, who was, they said, "prepared to pay" for them. Mazal boasted that his corporation had been "honored" to support Lipstadt in her battle against my libel action, and had provided key research papers to her defense team. Mazal, who runs various lucrative Holocaust and "anti-Nazi" websites, claims in one letter on the file to get Six Millions hits a month. And indeed by fax from the United States on November 14, last year Mr. Mazal reveals that (unlike me) he has been given the opportunity to read the entire list of items in my collection and he confirms that acquiring it would "greatly enhance" their archive on Holocaust denial. "We also actively combat denial," wrote Mazal in his application. "Acquiring the Irving collection would give us useful insight into the workings of deniers, anti-Semites, and neo-Nazis."
Well, that is precisely the kind of motivation that the High Court here found repugnant in Haig vs Aitken. Perhaps Mishcon de Reya are not familiar with that case. Such documents as Mazal's are lethal.
What seems clear to me is that in pursuing their application on her behalf, Mishcon de Reya have once again accidentally included a number of items in their witness bundle which can only be of the utmost value to me in my parallel action against the Trustee.
I can see that the gang is all there, once again. There is a two-line letter from Lipstadt's lawyer to the official Trustee, written over a year ago, enclosing a letter received from the Board of Deputies of British Jews thanking them for a certain letter. So they are the niggers in the woodpile once again -- we shall now of course ask to see all that correspondence, and more. What bunglers Lipstadt's lawyers are.
THE Trustee's lawyers were not born yesterday, and as the date of today's Court hearing approached, they realized the dangers that I might see some of these behind-the-scenes letters. Thus, when Mishcon wrote to them at the end of last November, stating blithely that the Trustee's solicitor had "confirmed" that the Trustee was "equally eager to find a mechanism to prevent the release of David Irving's books and records to Mr. Irving," that wording was urgently disputed by fax by the solicitors concerned ("for the sake of clarity"). Ho-ho.
So that was how things stood. Lipstadt's lawyers expressed their fury in one letter that I was still "incredibly active, talking, selling books, promoting conferences, making films, etc." Lipstadt is described as "becoming increasingly impatient." Nope, I won't lie down.
It turns out from another document which Mishcon have included in the bundle that the Trustee admitted to them that their own legal advisers had counseled them that their action in sitting on my archives was illegal and that they should return my entire research library and my historical archives to me at once: the Trustee confesses however that she is "resisting" that advice, and one can only surmise as to the reason why.
Let us see the official Trustee climb out of that hole when the time comes. Saddam Hussein will have found it easier.
I can see that the Trustee has already allowed third parties who are clearly hostile to my interests to read my private correspondence and papers, although these are precisely the kind of papers that per Haig vs Aitken were illegally seized in May 2002.
There are also indications that Dr Tobias Jersak, Richard "Skunky" Evans's crony, and others are being allowed to pluck interesting items out of my files. As these files are inevitably going to be returned to me at the end of the day, I shall claim further compensation for any disarray which the Trustee allows to be introduced into them -- and for all items which are found to be missing.
AFTER the hearing, I walk over to an Argentinean steakhouse for lunch with barrister Adrian Davies. He is in excellent spirit at the morning's results. We chuckle loudly as he recalls how Michael Whine, director of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, squirmed in court two years ago: Davies, defending printer Anthony Hancock, cross-examined Whine on the uglier and more pornographic contents of the Talmud. Hancock was acquitted!
He suggests that we now ask the Court to Order Lipstadt to provide security for costs, given that she is resident "beyond the seas" and has shown herself to be a persistent contemnor of court Orders. We should also invite the Trustee to do the same, since Lipstadt is suing her for all my possessions.
And not only that: given that her university is refusing to dismantle her website, which is publishing documents that violate my copyright and are a flagrant contempt of Court Orders in this country, it also seems inevitable that I shall have to ask the Courts here to issue a bench warrant for her arrest, the next time she next comes to the UK, given her persistent disregard for Orders of the Court. She will get no further warning. The tipstaff could pick her up at Heathrow, or even arrest her in the court precincts if a Judge gave permission.
10, 2004 (Tuesday)
A letter dated February 4 comes from general counsel of Lipstadt's University. "Your letter to Mr Charles Spornick at Emory University of January 23, 2004 was referred to this office. We are in the process of looking into the concerns you raise. Please send any further communications directly to me."
A swift check of the offending website reveals it is still up and running, unamended.