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Friday 29 August  
Geert Wilders at the Amsterdam court
John Tyler's picture
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Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Wilders trial to proceed

Published on : 5 October 2010 - 4:15pm | By John Tyler (Photo: ANP)
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The Geert Wilders trial will proceed with its original judges. A special panel has ruled that the judges trying Mr Wilders did not give the appearance of bias, and thus do not need to be replaced.

Geert Wilders is standing trial on charges of inciting hatred, discriminating against Muslims and insulting Muslims. His trial got underway in earnest on Monday, following initial sessions in January. The special panel was called in just two hours after Monday's session had begun. Geert Wilders' lawyer Bram Moszkowicz objected to a comment the head judge made about Wilders' decision not to answer questions in court.

Right of silence
A suspect in the Dutch legal system has the right to remain silent in court. Making use of that right has no impact on the eventual ruling in his or her trial. On the other hand, a judge must also make sure the defendant fully understands the right not to speak. And judges are allowed to ask a suspect pointed questions to make sure he or she fully understands what they are doing.

In the Wilders case, Mr Moszkowicz thought the judge went too far. Judge Jan Moors said, "The court has of course read the file, but the court also reads newspapers and watches television. People say that you're good at putting forward your opinion, but then avoiding debate about it. And it looks like you're doing that again here." Mr Moszkowicz argued that this question gave the appearance that Judge Moors was biased against Mr Wilders, who broke his silence to react to Judge Moors' statement during the short hearing to decide the question of bias.

Speaking to the special panel of judges, Mr Wilders said "It is offensive, improper, I would even say scandalous, that the chair of the court interprets my making use of my right to silence, and comments about it. I don't have the feeling I'm in a courtroom; I feel like I'm back in parliament, facing off against a colleague from the Democrat 66 party [a centre-left opposition party- ed.]."

Mistrust
Wilders made clear he no longer trusts the three-judge panel to grant him a fair trial. He has said all along that the trial is a politically motivated attempt to silence him. But until now, he had not commented on the judges actually trying him. Now he has made a personal accusation of political bias against the chief judge. The tension between the two of them is likely to grow. And Mr Wilders no longer has any confidence in getting a fair trial.

At the same time, Wilders is poised to assume his role as kingmaker for a new cabinet. The formation of a minority government with support from Mr Wilders' Freedom Party is nearly complete. Mr Wilders would like to focus all his attention on getting the new cabinet approved by parliament.

Razor thin
The cabinet, made up of the Liberal VVD party and the Christian Democrats, will not have a majority of seats in parliament. The support of the Freedom Party in parliament gives the cabinet a one-seat majority (76 seats in a 150-seat parliament). Some hearings in Mr Wilders trial will take place on days the Dutch parliament meets. He will want to be in two places at the same time. If he appears in court, he could miss a crucial vote in parliament. And with a one-seat majority, every vote counts.

The verdict is scheduled to be announced on 4 November. On the same day, parliament may be debating the new cabinet's plans. Geert Wilders faces a devil's dilemma: defend himself, or defend the policies he helped write for the new cabinet.

-------
Note:
The trial is scheduled to hold hearings on the following days: October 6, 8, 12, 15, 19, and 21st. A verdict is planned for 4 November.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide
 

Discussion

IQ al Rassooli 7 October 2010 - 12:23pm / www.al-Rassooli.org

Apparently on the first day the trial continued Geert Wilder's 17 minute film "Fitna" was screened. With incredible IRONY one of his accusers, a woman, asked to be excused from the screening which she told the judges she didn't want to see as, presumably she found it too upsetting!!!.......
OK, so she’d feel incredibly uncomfortable watching a collection of movie clips showing Imams around the world spouting hate & seeing the violence they incite that she has to leave the room to avoid this unpleasant spectacle. Yet it’s Geert Wilders (who doesn’t even speak in the film) that she’s accusing, not her own Muslim people that we see actually making these hateful speeches or committing the violent acts that Wilders rightly (and truthfully) is trying to warn us about! ...... www.al-Rassooli.org

saskia 7 October 2010 - 2:01am / USA /Nederland

"Incites hatred " !!!! I'll tell you who incites hatred...RNW , Spiegel online and all the other liberal news- sites over there in Euroland. All you do is spin the news in the ways you want it to be seen. Wilders would not approve of my dual nationality , but I approve of his courage to say what he thinks. It is obvious it is no longer allowable to think in different ways than the masses do over there in "tolerant " Nederland " or in the rest of Europa. Once Sharia laws reigns ....even you liberals will have to bow the knee and change your thinking. I agree with all the other comments ...the trail is a disgrace & an embarrassment (ik ben ook Nederlandse)....it's an absolute mockery ... ridiculous .

Hiram2 6 October 2010 - 4:52pm

"What if Wilders is telling the truth and Holland condemns him for that!"..........Wilders is telling the "truth" and the facts prove it 100%. The people who control the EU know Wilders is correct but they are now attempting to apease those who supply the oil flow by prosecuting him. As to Judge Jan Moors: He, like those judges in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s, are puppets of the EU government and they are pulling his strings.

Anonymous 6 October 2010 - 4:25pm / USA

Allow humans to flourish together without religion....The Moral Landscape: Q & A with Sam Harris http://bit.ly/ce2y3H

Anonymous 6 October 2010 - 7:40am / Australia

I think it is ridiculous that there is even a law about inciting hatred. Its like Holland doesn't even care about the truth. What if Wilders is telling the truth and Holland condemns him for that! The truth should be cherished above anyone's sensitivities. Just think for a minute, the Islamic people don't have to be offended. If someone says something offensive to you, it is your decision to shrug it off or take offense. No one is forcing people to feel hatred for Muslims or for the Muslim population to feel offended. People should take responsibility for themselves.

David Berridge 6 October 2010 - 7:09am / Canada

Concerning the fears of the Rutte-Verhagen parties losing a vote in the Lower House due to Geert being otherwise engaged in court, this is really not an issue. First, in the event of a suprise vote which is highly unlikely, as it would not be tolerated by the general public as a sleeze tactic, the Minority Cabinet can filibuster through the day session, as Geert's abscences are scheduled single day occurances. Secondly, Geert, in the event of a scheduled vote, can be re-scheduled in terms of a court appearance, as the courts, cannot place the government of the day at risk of falling. Geert may complain of "double duty" with the extra weight of court, but it was he who choose to delve into "extra-curricular activities"!!

Francois 6 October 2010 - 2:09am / Netherlands

Justice Jan Moors is a brilliant legal mind. He succeeded in goading Geert Wilders to speak and angryly at that. For Hiram2 to bring up Nazi Germany and paint Wilders as the victim is hilarious at best. Wilders is now in power and will be responsible for policies aimed at a particular religion never mind the constitution of the Netherlands which forbids discrimination. Though there are issues about Islam which are in my opinion less than favourable I cannot claim to paint all Muslims with a single brush based on the actions of a few of them who maybe misrepresenting their faith. As for the BLOND HITLER he is no victim he is the aggressor. We wait to see how his policies will play out.

IQ al Rassooli 6 October 2010 - 12:59am / http://www.al-Rassooli.org

Those of us who grew up with the reality Islam in its fully implemented form (in my case in Iraq) know only too well that Geert Wilders is completely correct; Islam is NOT just a religion – it is without doubt an ancient, unyielding, totalitarian, political system based around, or disguised as, a religion!

As with National Socialism (the Nazi movement) or for that matter Communism, and many other such all-embracing systems, the individual is utterly suppressed and forbidden to hold even private opinions, particularly those that may be in any way “critical of the state”. Islam keeps its iron grip on those unfortunate enough to be trapped within its control through its so-called “Shari’ah Laws” – these often astonishingly illogical and violent “laws” are not under any circumstances to be questioned, let alone changed. Amongst these immutable laws are many that rule against even thinking about, let alone challenging, any concept of Islam including its methods or ultimate goals (that include world domination and the subjugation of all of humanity).

Bizarre as it may seem Jan Moors is now acting – unwittingly or not – as one of the Dutch people’s first ever High-level Shari’ah Judges! These are sad times indeed.

Anonymous 5 October 2010 - 7:32pm / you know

In the Netherlands it is a crime to engage in public speech that incites hatred, discrimination or violence against persons because of their race, religion, convictions,gender, sexual orientation, or disability. The right of freedom of opinion is not unlimited. A clear boundary has to be drawn as to what is permissible in public debate.

Anonymous 6 October 2010 - 4:18am / France

So how do we defend ourselves against an totalitarian religious ideology if we can't criticize, nor fight it ? It seems there's a missing page on the survival booklet for dummies.

No Dhimmi 5 October 2010 - 6:53pm / USA

This trial is an absolute disgrace, and Dutch people should be embarrassed by the actions of their leaders here. It is clear that Islam is the New Inquisition. These Dutch politicians are the New Inquisitors for Islam, trying to take us into a modern Dark Age. They should be completely ashamed of themselves.

Utterly despicable. Geert Wilders is a hero, and the individuals trying him are reprobates.

Hiram2 5 October 2010 - 6:02pm

"On the other hand, a judge must also make sure the defendant fully understands the right not to speak. And judges are allowed to ask a suspect pointed questions to make sure he or she fully understands what they are doing."........"Pointed questions"! When the judge Judge Jan Moors stated " "The court has of course read the file, but the court also reads newspapers and watches television. People say that you're good at putting forward your opinion, but then avoiding debate about it. And it looks like you're doing that again here." , he did not ask a "pointed question" to advise Wilders of right to remain silent but gave his judgement at the beginning of the court. Judge Jan Moors statement was attempting to besmirch Wilders but the only thing he did was besmirched himself and the court. This court has the earmarks of the 1940s when Hitler had his special courts bring forth Germans who spoke out against the threats of Hitler and his goverment. Those German judges besmirched those brought in front of them by ridiculing them as Jan Moors did with Wilders. Jan Moors and those who supported his attack made a mockrey of himself and the Dutch legal system by jan Moors personal attack on Wilders.

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