Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Irving's sentence: not just a question of free speech

I think one of the things that has been lost sight of in discussion of Irving's sentence is that the judge clearly thought that he was lying and playing with the court when he claimed to have stopped being a Holocaust denier as of the 1990s.

The judge was very familiar with my trial. He knew that Irving had me in court in 2000 and then again in 2001. How could Irving have stopped being a denier in the 1990s if he had me in court in 200.

The judge knew Irving had all sorts of denial material on his website as of 2005. And he may have been aware that Irving planned to go to New Zealand in 2004 to argue there were no gas chambers.

In short, there may well have been an issue of perjury here and not just free speech. Irving, as I have said earlier, seems to me to think he can say what he wants with no consequences.

During my trial Irving repeatedly claimed a document said X when it said A or vice versa. At one point the judge grew so exasperated with his claims that he said to him: "But it (the document) does not say that Mr. Irving.

It seems to me that judges really hate it when they are toyed with.

This was a lark for Irving. But it did not turn out that way.


Brian said...

Was the law Irving was convicted under passed after the incident? Some are claiming the law was passed in 1992 and the incident occured in 1989.

Do you have information on this?

Hilary Ostrov said...

The law which Irving chose to contravene in 1989 was passed in 1947. I believe that 1992 was the year that Irving was fined in Germany for similar activitities (but I could be wrong about this part!)

Orac said...

If Irving, weasel that he is, committed perjury, then let the Austrian court try him for perjury.

Tacking time onto an already unjustified sentence for speech sends exactly the wrong message.