Posted Monday, March 12, 2001

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David Irving's ACTION REPORT

London, Monday, March 12, 2001

U.K. Court will Hear Irving Appeal in Lipstadt Smear Case in June

LONDON -- The Court of Appeal in London agreed in an emergency hearing on March 2 to vacate the appeal date fixed for the hearing of David Irving's appeal against the unfavourable judgment handed down last year by Mr Justice Gray in the historian's action against American scholar Deborah Lipstadt and her UK publishers, Penguin Books Ltd.

A new date has been fixed: June 11. Much will depend on Mr Irving's ability to raise sufficient funds to match the huge legal effort which the traditional enemies of free speech will once again pour into the British Law Courts when the appeal, expected to last five days, begins.

donorThe three-month trial was followed with intense interest by the world's media, and the stunning adverse judgment on Apr. 11 last year was reported across pages of Britain's national newspapers. Lipstadt's team ran through six million dollars, provided to them by Steven Spielberg and alcohol-billionaire Edgar J Bronfman. The neutral witnesses whom the Atlanta-based scholar and her U.K. publishers had summoned were gorged on immense fees of up to a quarter a million dollars each to assist them in their search for objectivity.

After several court hearings over the last months conducted by Mr Irving's legal team, which is now headed by barrister Adrian Davies, the court had unexpectedly fixed Mar. 19 as the date for the hearing of his application for permission to appeal, which is expected to be followed immediately by the appeal itself.

"This was worse than an ambush," says Davies, referring to the previous Mar. 19 fixture. "There was no way that we could instruct a Leader" -- a Silk, or Queen's Counsel -- "and give him time to study the immense documentation on the case by then." At an earlier hearing on Jan. 17, the two Judges of appeal who had defeated the publisher's attempts to destroy Mr Irving's chances of appealing clearly stipulated that Counsel must have time to "read into" the documents. The trial generated a five-foot shelf of transcripts.

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