London, May 6, 2000
Irving told to pay out £150,000 legal costs
THE historian David Irving has been ordered to pay £150,000 on account towards the defence costs in his failed libel action over claims that he was a Holocaust denier or face bankruptcy.
Mr Justice Gray, who heard the 32-day action in the High Court in London earlier this year, said the sum must be paid by June 16. If it does not materialise, Penguin Books, which published the work at the centre of the case -- Deborah Lipstadt's Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory -- can issue a petition for 62-year-old Mr Irving's bankruptcy.
Heather Rogers, Penguin's counsel, had initially asked for £500,000, but Mr Irving's counsel, Adrian Davies, said that a sum of even £250,000 could bankrupt his client. Mr Irving was not in court for the decision yesterday which flows from the judge's ruling last month that he was both anti-Semitic and racist.
Miss Rogers, who is pursuing a total costs bill estimated at more than £2 million, told the judge that more than £1 million had already been paid out to defence experts. She said that defence counsel fees amounted to £400,000. Defence solicitors had not yet produced their own bill of costs.
Mr Irving, who intends to appeal, argues that both defence experts and counsel were paid too much.
Website fact: The stamina of the defence team was aided by a six million dollar fund provided by Stephen Spielberg, Edgar J Bronfman, and the American Jewish Committee, which enabled them to shower money on their 21 lawyers and "experts"; the experts like Evans, Longerich were paid up to £125,000 each to testify as they did (while the defence's star legal team was paid considerably more). Nobody was paying for Mr Irving, who has been fighting this battle for three whole years. Nor did he pay his defence witnesses one cent or sous: they testified from conviction, not for reward. [Help!]