One key reason that Random House cannot afford for me to get a fair trial
Jun 12 2006
By Ed James, Daily Post
A LANGUAGE expert from mid Wales may come face-to-face in court with Da Vinci Code novelist Dan Brown as the legal battle over the blockbuster erupts again.
John Olsson had been set to testify at the previous trial alleging that the novel-ist lifted whole sections for his bestseller from books written by Lewis Perdue.
But Mr Olsson, director of the Forensic Linguistics Institute in Llanfair Caereinion, near Welshpool, was never called.
The trial judge ruled his evidence did not form part of the case, which Mr Perdue subsequently lost.
Mr Perdue also went on to lose an appeal, leaving him with huge legal costs to pay.
Now however, he plans to fight on and take the case to the Supreme Court in the hope it will order a retrial alleging Mr Brown plagiarised his books The Da Vinci Code Legacy and Daughter of God.
If the appeal is granted, Mr Olsson's testimony will have to be considered by law.
Mr Olsson said: "It was unbelievable that the judge totally disregarded what me and others had to say, ruling that it was based on historical facts and philosophical themes which cannot be copyrighted.
"But the fact Perdue put his own spin on things - like having Da Vinci write on parchment when historically he would have used linen - which then ended up in Brown's book is in my eyes conclusive proof of plagiarism."
Mr Olsson was approached by Perdue in 2004 when the Da Vinci Code was first published.
The novel tells of a conspiracy within the Christian Church to keep secret the relationship between Christ and Mary Magdalene and a child He is said to have fathered.
The Welsh expert, who lives in Llan-fair Caereinion, is confident that Perdue would succeed in his retrial bid.
"If we're successful and the Supreme Court overturns the judge's ruling it'll set a precedent over there in the States," he said.