Saturday, November 26, 2005

Irving plans to plead guilty and declare his "remorse" at trial

As noted in an earlier post, after the trial, Irving declared he would continue denying the Holocaust. His lawyer has evidently expanded on the extent of his apparent "change of views". The U.K. Guardian reports:

'Repentant' Irving to plead guilty but must stay in jail

Ian Traynor in Vienna
Saturday November 26, 2005
The Guardian

David Irving, the discredited British historian of the Nazis, will spend Christmas and New Year in a Viennese jail after yesterday being refused bail and being remanded for four weeks pending trial for allegedly lying about the Holocaust.


At yesterday's custody hearing the magistrate dismissed Mr Irving's lawyer's request for bail on the grounds that he might disappear or that Britain would refuse to extradite him back to Austria for trial because the alleged crime is not an offence in the UK.


Mr Irving has 10 days to appeal against the indictment but is not likely to lodge an appeal. His strategy is to plead guilty before a jury trial, but to declare his remorse and insist that he has revised his views on the Third Reich in the years since he made the Austrian speeches in 1989. "This might be a big case, but it's not very difficult," his lawyer, Elmar Kresbach, told the Guardian yesterday. "There are the transcripts of his speeches, there is a newspaper interview that he gave [in 1989]. It's pretty black and white.

"But Irving told me that he has changed his views after researching in the Russian archives in the 1990s. He said, 'I've repented. I've no intention of repeating these views. That would be historically stupid and I'm not a stupid man.'

"He said, 'I fully accept this, it's a fact. The discussion on Auschwitz, the gas chambers and the Holocaust is finished ... it's useless to dispute it'."

According to Mr Irving and his lawyer, the 67-year-old historian, who lost a major libel case against Penguin Books and the US historian Deborah Lipstadt in the high court in London five years ago, entered Austria this month via Switzerland and drove to Vienna to meet student radicals renowned for their pro-Nazi views.


Mr Kresbach argued that his client was elderly, no threat to Austria, and had promised to return for the trial if released on bail of up to €20,000.

"It's not really necessary to keep him here," said Mr Kresbach. "He promised to come back." The magistrate dismissed the argument, however, declaring there was a "flight risk."

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