London: Baigent Does Better, Random House Dodging Key Issues
There was a mention of Dan Brown testifying on Monday and providing a witness statement Monday morning. Unclear on whether that would be supplementary matters (i.e.-would he testify tomorrow and deal with other things on Monday) or be the start of his testimony?
Court today started with some preliminaries relating to the addition of language similiarities between DVC and HBHG. Baigent&Leigh intend to rely on those "fingerprints" as supporting evidence that demonstrate that their book was used as source material for DVC.
Since the main claim is copyright infringement rather than outright plagiarism, this is considered a small point. Random House's lawyers would prefer not to get into peripheral matters as they are not central, but the judge indicates that he will allow it on the grounds of letting the parties present everything relevant they want so that they can't claim to have had important evidence excluded.
He does allow that they are "faint fingerprints" and that he will look rather favorably on DB testifying that he can't recall where several of the textual similarities came from on the grounds that they are rather late additions to the case. In any event, he also indicates that the case will succeed or fail based on other factors, said the judge: "if you can't win on your primary case, these [faint fingerprints] won't save you."
After the preliminaries, Baigent returned to the stand for his third day. He fared much better today than before and it is unclear how much of his witness statement still stands -- there are hundreds of paragraphs to it and while Mr. Baldwin (RH's lead counsel) has extracted a lot of concessions from Baigent, it is not so apparent to the audience how comprehensive the concessions have been.
For all we know, 300 paragraphs might stand uncontested -- or maybe only 3?
Baigent though is back to conceding points, but scores some points of his own -- although I'm not sure how helpful those are. In one case, Baldwin draws attention to DVC p. 218 that makes reference to Baldwin II and the Knights Templar to suggest that DB's source could have been a book by Addison called "History of the Knights Templar". Baigent indicates that DB's text contains a major historical error in that Baldwin II's reign did not include the Second Crusade (1147-1152) as indicated in DVC and says "HBHG didn't make that sort of egregious historical error."
Point for Baigent on historical accuracy, point for DB on not plagiarising HBHG -- doesn't Baigent know that common ERRORS are often more important for showing copying than common truths?
[ This is why Random House in the United States stooped to an outright lie in claiming -- both in court and in ite filings -- that I had dropped my claims relating to my 1983 book, The Da Vinci Legacy. We proved conclusively that the historical error which I made -- and which Brown copied -- was not coincidence.]
Some give and take between Baigent and Mr. Baldwin on Baldwin II on this point that is stopped by the judge telling Baigent "you know it's not bloody from your book as you didn't make that error." Baigent has to concede that he "finds it difficult to claim he [DB] took it from us."
Later Baldwin makes a nasty insinuation about Baigent's witness statement that Baigent was claiming credit for the idea of dividing the words "Sangraal" into two and coming up with the French for "Blood Royal". He suggests that Mr. Leigh's witness statement indicates that Leigh and Lincoln came up with the idea before they met Baigent and Baigent is trying to take credit for their idea.
The paragraph in question in isolation does appear to suggest this interpretation, but the immediately preceeding paragraph does explicitly say that splitting the words was Richard Leigh's idea. This time, I think "infelicitous" might have been quite properly used, but Baigent appears to have learnt his lesson with that phrase.
He has a new phrase that Baldwin will probably crucify him with once he's had a chance to reflect on it. This time the phrase is "It's implicit" in answer to any question pointing out the absence of a central theme of HBHG from a portion of DVC that Baigent argued did, in fact, contain the central theme.
All too often, it appears that Baigent&co have included every odd mention of Mary or the Holy Grail and claimed it as a direct mention of something like Mary fleeing Palestine and going to France or something more specific. Baldwin is laser-like in arguing "that isn't there, is it?" for every passage so indicated and Baigent responds "it's implicit". On yesterday's form, I think Baldwin might get around to saying something like "Is 'it's implicit' your long word for 'it's not there'?"
Baigent is forced to concede that not all his central themes were included in DVC, so his charge in his witness statement that they were is erroneous and should read "some" instead of "all". As most of the support for Central Theme point 2 (CT2) falls away under cross-examination, the judge finally says to Baigent "all you have to CT2 is that Jesus was a Jew and he married -- are you claiming that that could only have come from you?"
Baigent concedes it couldn't and with the apparent demise of CT2 court adjourned for lunch.