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AS a Christian of course I wish Mr Justice Gray only the best with his retirement.
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London, Sunday, January 2, 2008

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David Irving comments:

AS a Christian of course I wish Mr Justice Gray only the best with his retirement. There are already six books on the trial of my libel action DJC Irving vs. Lipstadt, so why should he not also profit from it?
   Some might argue that he would have attracted rather lower advances from publishers had he handed down a judgment in my favour, but he dismissed this argument as unworthy when I advanced it in court in challenging the credibility of Van Pelt (who was clearly planning to publish a book, though he denied it on oath), so I am unable to argue it here.
   Gray J was a remarkable judge, and was kind enough to speak well of me in an interview with The Guardian newspaper after delivering his unexpected and crushing Judgment (which was received with howls of glee, of course, by the usual sources, who had poured over thirteen million dollars into Lipstadt's defence).
   Dominic Carman, son of the late Queen's Counsel, George Carman QC, one of Gray's most powerful adversaries, told me that his father considered that Gray's Judgment was flawed, and I would be hard put to disagree. I have recorded elsewhere (and repeat below) some of the reasons where I believe Gray went wrong.

ORIGINALLY a very successful libel QC, Sir Charles Gray was, and no doubt still is, outside the courtroom a close friend of both Richard Rampton QC, who acted for my opponents in the Lipstadt trial, and his junior, Heather Rogers, who had been Gray's own junior in the famous libel action brought by Lord Aldington (Brigadier Toby Low) against historian Nicholas Tolstoy.
   Gray must have found it difficult to remain neutral while hearing these two old friends pleading in Courtroom 14 at the High Court, against myself, a non-lawyer acting in person and represented by none of Rampton's highly-paid cronies.
   This, the money factor, is what made Gray's decision to go on the Queen's Bench as a judge all the more remarkable -- he will inevitably be raised to the peerage, but he would have earned far more as a trial counsel than as a judge: Rampton was paid probably a million pounds for his brilliant advocacy in the Lipstadt trial, almost as much as the chief expert witness against me, Professor Richard "Skunky" Evans earned from giving his neutral and objective evidence against my worthlessness as an historian at the trial, and far more than a Queen's Bench judge would command.

Mandrake [column] by Tim Walker

By Tim Walker and Richard Eden

Valuable words

WITH his bottom "on the Consolidated Fund", as judges like to describe their pensions, Sir Charles Gray is unlikely to have much trouble keeping the wolf from the door during retirement. Before he stepped down from the High Court this month, Mr Justice Gray did, however, chance upon a potentially useful way of supplementing his income.

"After consulting a number of experts in the field, I was informed that judges own the copyright to their judgments," says Sir Charles, who wrote a damning 334-page ruling against David Irving in the historian's libel action against Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books over claims that he was a Holocaust denier. "I found this out when Penguin published my judgment on Irving as a book. Penguin agreed to make a donation to the Royal Marsden." Surely, an incentive to judges to write long and quotable judgments?





David Irving's Books (free downloads)
The Lipstadt Trial
The Guardian interviews Mr Justsice Gray, April 17, 2000: It took 62 days in court and more than 36,000 pages of evidence to discredit the historian David Irving. But Mr Justice Gray's verdict, when it came, was a tour de force. He speaks to Clare Dyer


Mr Justice Gray at the time of the Lipstadt trial

The Judge in the Lipstadt trial was in my view wrong on several important matters:

(a) Sir Charles Gray allowed the Defence lawyers to submit an amended defence only a few days before the trial began, in which the entire axis of the defence was changed; it involved dumping on me a score of ring binders with expert statements and documents and exhibits in the days around Christmas 1999, with the trial beginning on January 13, 2000. Being a litigant in person, with no vast legal team behind me, I could not possibly master these new papers in time. It is my own fault that I did not protest at the trial management hearing on this issue, but I could not at that time anticipate the deluge of files, tens of thousands of pages of documents, which began after he ruled the new defence permissible. Mr Justice Gray should have ruled that either (i) the defence has had three and a half years to prepare the trial, and a last minute change of defence is not permitted; or that (ii) the plaintiff should apply for the trial date to be adjourned (which the Court could not easily have done, as the Judge had by then read all the files, and courtroom space had been booked and the expert witnesses were already flying in).

(b) Gray J later called the "fees" paid to the six expert witnesses, some of them getting over a quarter of a million dollars, "obscene". I agree. How can any witness remain neutral in the face of such inducements? (See this website for the interim payments made to the witnesses.)

(c) Gray J allowed the Dutch/Canadian expert witness Professor Robert Jan Van Pelt to give testimony on the architecture of Auschwitz and other sites, although in my opening cross examination I elicited the confession that Pelt had never studied architecture and was not even allowed to call himself an architect in consequence; Gray J further allowed Pelt to give expert testimony on matters far beyond his ken including pest control, toxicology, document authentication, and the German language; moreover, Pelt and all the other expert witnesses were no longer neutral, as the rules require, because they had all signed book deals (which Pelt denied under my cross examination, on oath: i.e., he perjured himself); Professor Richard J "Skunky" Evans (right) perjured himself too, denying explicitly that he bore any ill feeling toward me (now read his book on this same topic!) Evans was clearly not an expert on the Third Reich either, his knowledge of colloquial and modern German, and of the top Nazi personalities, was very patchy.

(d) I argued in my opening submissions to Gray J that the court should concern itself not with what happened or did not happen sixty years ago, but with what happened within the four walls of my study when I was writing my books: did I have documents before me which I willfully ignored or deliberately misconstrued when writing my various books? It is not an abstruse point at all, and Gray J nodded sagely, but he still allowed the trial to develop into an examination of the history of the Holocaust -- with the absurd result that I found myself, although I had never proclaimed myself to be an Holocaust historian, being cross-examined on documents that the defence had brought into court that morning and I had never seen before: why? And why did the Court tolerate it?

(e) Most damaging of all: although in her book Lipstadt had never imputed either anti-semitism or racism to me, and the two issues had consequently not been pleaded, large parts of the defence turned on these allegations: grossly prejudicial and totally irrelevant; her lawyers had managed to get all my pre-emptive Discovery documents proving the opposite struck out in the months before they submitted their amended Defence too! Gray J himself interrupted Rampton's closing statement with the hypothetical question, Can an anti-Semite not write true history?, only to ignore it in his Judgment. Gray J should have excluded all such prejudicial and deeply irrelevant arguments at a very early date in the trial. It is my fault that I did not ask the Court to do so, through inexperience. I was a litigant in person, and the Court should itself have ruled such issues inadmissible, because highly prejudicial and not originally pleaded. Both the Court and the Defence were pandering however to an increasingly hostile press (hostile to me, that is, because editors and advertising managers know on which side their bread is buttered).

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