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Tuesday 30 September  
Geert Wilders on trial
John Tyler's picture
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Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Geert Wilders pulls no punches in courtroom

Published on : 21 January 2010 - 1:47am | By John Tyler
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Geert Wilders did not pull any punches in a courtroom reaction during the preliminary hearing of his trial on charges of inciting hatred. On the first day of the trial in a courtroom in Amsterdam, a few hundred people protested quietly outside the building, while the lawyers inside presented their plans.

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Listen to a report from the Amsterdam courtroom


Between two and three hundred people turned up to support Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders. Police were out in force, but had little to keep them occupied. The protesters were well behaved and peaceful.

Some even seemed to surprise themselves when they shouted P-V-V as Geert Wilders' colleague parliamentarians entered the courtroom (PVV are the Dutch initials for the Freedom Party). For the three hours that followed, the atmosphere was relaxed and conversational. This is in stark contrast to the tone Mr Wilders set in the courtroom at the end of the day.

The price of liberty
Speaking to the three judges of the Amsterdam District Court, Mr Wilders gave a rousing oratory on the defence of liberty. He said he has devoted his life to protecting freedom, and is paying the price for it every day. Quoting the third American president Thomas Jefferson, Wilders said eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

Mr Wilders' oration was particularly striking in that it followed a day of legalistic to and fro among his defence lawyer, the two public prosecutors, and the senior judge. The preliminary hearing gives the court the chance to learn how the two sides plan to conduct their cases. The trial will start in earnest on an as-yet to be determined date.

Seventeen witnesses
The Freedom Party leader closed his talk with an appeal to the court to allow all seventeen witnesses he would like to call to testify. The public prosecutor had objected to the number, perhaps fearing a months-long seminar on anti-Islamic sentiments.

But Wilders responded by telling the judges: allow all my witnesses, or there can be no question of a fair trial.

This presents the three judges with a challenge. Jan Moors, the senior judge of the three judge panel, indicated in his tone and body language that he wants to be as impartial as possible.

Political process
Mr Wilders and his followers have said this trial is politically motivated. There is no evidence to show that this is the case, but the very fact that a popular politician is facing charges politicises the process.

If that is not enough, the judges on the Amsterdam District Court have another reason for being careful. It was three of their colleagues at the district court who wrote the decision last year to bring charges against Mr Wilders. Some who read that decision say those three judges had already found Mr Wilders to be guilty.

Judge Moors closed the hearing by announcing the court would need two weeks to decide on how the trial will proceed. Two weeks for Geert Wilders' challenge to the judges to echo around the country.

 

 

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Discussion

Harryautumn 27 November 2011 - 12:52pm / USA

I have watched Fitna and watched/read the muslim side too and its so obvious wilders is just spreading hatred with a large sprinkling of political spin (e.g. when he uses the muslim population he does not use percentages but seemingly large looking numbers and anyone can go on sites such as ciafactbook to see that muslims make up only 5.8% of the population which is much lower in other countries too uk = 2.7%) http://www.automobilehouse.com/mitsubishi-cedia-sports-mileage/

Govt jobs 26 November 2011 - 9:14am

For writing about the repressive ideology of Islam, for arguing against the inequities of Sharia (Islamic law), for making a video ("Fitna") to warn about Islamic jihad, Wilders lives in his own non-Islamic country under a specifically Islamic death threat.

Unfortunately it is considered politically incorrect to notice this. But I suppose it is politically correct to ignore what an Imam said two years ago in Den Hague when he called Dutch people pigs. The word has deeper and slanderous implications towards the inhabitants of this primarily Christian country which belongs more to them than to the Muslims they so graciously allowed to enter their country in the first place. But no surprise since non-believers are considered infidels and the Dutch legal system obviously doesn't mind its indigenous population being degraded to the status of street dogs. http://www.generalupdates.com/punjab-and-sind-bank-recruitment/

New trends 2012 20 January 2011 - 12:54pm

If the three judges and said Wilders is guilty, then Wilders is not receiving a fair trial and it shows that from the beginning is a political witch hunt and should be stopped immediately! Who is the culprit behind the original charges should be investigated and if there is evidence that politicians are behind this in the beginning, strip them of their power. Wilders also should be compensated for the stress and political assassination against his character. Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night. New trends 2012

DutchPride 23 February 2010 - 6:56pm / Nederland

I am ashamed to call Geert Wilders a dutchman for his attack on muslims people who as a majority are peaceful. He has unfairly used extremists which many moderate muslims themselves do not agree with to justify banning the quran (where is the freedom?) and saying that Islam should not be allowed in europe (again where is the freedom?).

How is it possible this evil little man can cry about his freedom of speech when he is using it to deny others the same right ?

Thankfully most of us realise that he has jumped on the Islamaphobe bandwagon to get votes for his party which is anything but a "Freedom Party", a more apt name would be "We hate non dutch/white people"

I have watched Fitna and watched/read the muslim side too and its so obvious wilders is just spreading hatred with a large sprinkling of political spin (e.g. when he uses the muslim population he does not use percentages but seemingly large looking numbers and anyone can go on sites such as ciafactbook to see that muslims make up only 5.8% of the population which is much lower in other countries too uk = 2.7%)

Hiram1 23 February 2010 - 8:54pm / USA

"I am ashamed to call Geert Wilders a dutchman for his attack on muslims people who as a majority are peaceful."........Are they really? Muslims are Islamic and thousands of terrorists acts throughout the world have been committed in the name of Islamic Jihad. Do you really believe the majority are peaceful? I believe a peaceful people would be out on the streets of Europe , US, Britain and other countries peacefully protesting aginst those Muslims who are terrorising innocent people. You don't hear about it in the news. Did you know when the twin towers collapsed, Palistian Muslims and Muslims throughout the world celebrated the deaths of those people. No, sir, the majority of them are not peaceful but are inclined to terrorism in the name of Jihad. As to Wilders, he sees the dangers of Islam and he is yelling fire in a theater that is on fire. He is extreme but not as extreme as those who terrorise the non-believers. Let those peaceful people of whom you spoke stand-up and speak against the terrorism committed in the name of their religion. Until then, no they are not apeaceful people.

Anonymous 16 February 2010 - 4:27am / Norway

The procecution of Geert Wildes is a declaration of war of the european political establishment against the european people.

Tater Salad 15 February 2010 - 2:42am / usa

Seems that Muslims are either blowing themselves up during the daytime or "banging away" at some poor jackass in a field at night in the name of Allah.

Video taken with night vision by U.S. troops.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS7wNcuh4qI

Allah isn't going to like this!

user avatar
freespeech 22 January 2010 - 9:02pm

What is happening with the Wilders trial in Holland illustrates how far political freedom in the West has already eroded.

For writing about the repressive ideology of Islam, for arguing against the inequities of Sharia (Islamic law), for making a video ("Fitna") to warn about Islamic jihad, Wilders lives in his own non-Islamic country under a specifically Islamic death threat.

Unfortunately it is considered politically incorrect to notice this. But I suppose it is politically correct to ignore what an Imam said two years ago in Den Hague when he called Dutch people pigs. The word has deeper and slanderous implications towards the inhabitants of this primarily Christian country which belongs more to them than to the Muslims they so graciously allowed to enter their country in the first place. But no surprise since non-believers are considered infidels and the Dutch legal system obviously doesn't mind its indigenous population being degraded to the status of street dogs.

Oskar Freysinger wrote:
A democratically elected member of the Dutch parliament shall be forced to silence because his critical words on Islam could disturb the noise made by those who preach hate and war against freedom and democracy.
Previously, he has been denied entry into Great Britain where some preachers propagate jihad without restraint.
Is there a justice for religious extremists and another for democratically elected citizens?
As a member of the Swiss parliament, I support the right of Geert Wilders to speak freely about all problems his fellow countrymen are facing. Even if this indisposes a religious group.
The end of the freedom of speech is the end of democracy!

Morten Messerschmidt wrote:
A conviction of Wilders is a conviction of free speech
The trial against Geert Wilders, MP, leader of the Party for Freedom, is not a trial in the ordinary sense of the word. It is a political trial, and there is much more at stake here than catches the eye. If Geert Wilders is convicted of using his freedom of speech, which should be guaranteed by the constitution in the democratic Netherlands, it is an attack on freedom in general and on the right to speek freely in particular. What does Mr. Wilders crime consist of? He has made a short film which combines the words of the Koran with horryfying pictures of – among others – women vicitimized by the rigid sharia-laws. Furthermore he has been advocating that the Koran should be banned – but he has done so in a country where Hitler´s "Mein Kampf" has been banned since the end of the Second World War on the ground that it represents a violent ideology. And so does the Koran. I don´t share the view that certain books should be banned, however, I respect Geert Wilder´s right to publish his views in the media.
If Geert Wilders is convicted a whole new standard of democracy will be seeing the light of day in Europe. Europe will have taken another step towards islamization, and attacks – even physical – against men such as Geert Wilders – and as we saw recently on the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard – will have a kind of backing from the courts. Once the islamists know that the judicial system has bowed down to the claims of the islamist, we are not likely to reduce religiously induced violence, but to further it even more. Geert Wilders has not only risked his life, he also has to live in a reduced world under the strict surveillance of his security guards – and in case of a conviction he would become an outlaw and would eventually fall prey to the hatred of the islamists.

user avatar
SJVP 21 January 2010 - 11:38am / Nederland

If three judges already said Wilders is guilty, then Wilders is not getting a fair trial and it proves the fact that this from the beginning is a political Witch hunt and must be stopped immediately! Whoever is the culprit behind these original charges should be investigated and if there is evidence found that politicians were behind this in the beginning, strip them of their power. Wilders should also be compensated for the stress and political assassination against his character.

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