The coverage keeps coming in – let’s hope that I’v been able to keep on top of the bulk of things, here. Some links might have already been posted in previous posts, but hey – I’m only one man. And I like to be thorough.
Gates of Vienna – The Trial of Geert Wilders - Does Freedom Still Have a Home In This Country? - A Partial List of Witnesses - Tabled Until February 3rd - “It Is Becoming Frightening Now…” - The Opening Salvos - Geert Akhbar! - Aiming for Acquittal?
The trial of MP Geert Wilders on inciting hatred and discrimination charges will resume on February 3, judges in Amsterdam said on Wednesday.
Following yesterday’s initial hearing, judges will now decide who will be called as witnesses and on other procedural motions from both the prosecution and defence.
Wilders’ ended Wednesday’s session by stating that his defence rested not only on freedom of expression laws but the fact he is telling the truth. ‘Something that is true can’t be a criminal offence,’ he was quoted by Nos tv as saying. ‘This is why I ask [the court] to allow my expert witnesses to give testimony. I have to be able to defend myself. I have to be able to show I have spoken the truth.’
All eight other MPs from his anti-Islam party, the PVV, were among the public in court for the hearing. Some 300 supporters had also gathered outside the court building.
Wilders’ witness list includes university professors, radical imams and Mohammed Bouyeri, the man who murdered film maker Theo van Gogh.
Earlier, public prosecutor Birgit van Roessel told the court Wilders’ own testimony will take so long to be heard that he should be first questioned in private by an investigating judge.
Initial extensive questioning about all Wilders’ statements would place ‘a major burden’ on the court, she said. In addition, the hearing will take place in front of a large audience who may react to his statements, she said. So it must be asked if the hearing can take place ‘in the desired order and calm’, she told the court.
The prosecution is not planning to bring any witnesses to the trial, she said.
Wilders’ lawyer Bram Moszkowicz began his defence by calling on judges to halt the trial, arguing the public prosecution department had wrongly brought the case against the MP. He also called for the trial to be moved to the Hague, because that is where Wilders works.
Read the rest here.
Why Evolution Is True – Geert Wilders goes on trial
The Washington Post – Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker faces hate speech trial
The China Post – Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Wilders faces hate speech trial
The U.S. Daily – Dutch far-right MP in court over anti-Islam comments
Kuwait Times – Dutch far-right MP in court over anti-Islam comments
Taiwan News Online – Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker faces hate speech trial
American Free Press – Dutch filmmaker in court over anti-Islam hate speech
The Sydney Morning Herald – Dutch anti-Islam trial
Council On Foreign Relations – Daily News Brief
Deutsche Welle – Islam critic Geert Wilders to go on trial in Netherlands
Deutsche Welle – Dutch film-maker in court over anti-Islam hate speech
Pakistan Observer – Dutch lawmaker faces anti-Islam speech trial
Bridget’s World News Blog – Dutch Lawmaker Goes on Trial for Views on Islam
Euronews [including video] – Dutch MP in court for “inciting hatred”
FrontPage Mag – Geert Wilders: Freedom on Trial
The Jawa Report - Geert Wilders to Anti-Freedom Speech Nazi Court: Suck My Balls!
Sphere.com – Geert Wilders
The Montreal Gazette – Dutch MP in court over anti-Islam comments
Expatica.com – Press Review Wednesday 20 January 2010
Bruce Bawer, for City Journal – A Dark Day for the Enlightenment
Haveeru Online – Dutch MP in court over anti-Islam comments
Press TV – Dutch MP on trial for anti-Islam campaign
The Times Online – Geert Wilders: ‘I want Muslim fanatic to speak in my defence’:
Geert Wilders, the Dutch far-Right MP, has demanded that his race hate trial should hear evidence from the fanatic who used the Koran to justify killing the director of an anti-Islamic film.
It marked an incendiary opening to the landmark case that has divided the Netherlands over the limits of freedom. Mr Wilders, 46, who is accused of incitement and discrimination, asked for 18 witnesses to be called in his defence, including Mohammed Bouyeri, the man who stabbed and shot Theo Van Gogh in an Amsterdam street in 2004.
Read the rest here.
The Press & Journal – Anti-Islam MP appears in Dutch court on hate charges
The Press Association – Anti-Islam MP faces hate charges
The Christian Institute – Controversial Dutch MP’s hate crime trial begins
The Telegraph – Geert Wilders in Dutch court over anti-Islam comments
Pierre’s Middle East Issues Blog – Geert Wilders On Trial for Insulting Islam
Radio Netherlands Worldwide – Geert Wilders pulls no punches in courtroom:
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.
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.
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.
Read the rest here.
ZeeNews.com – I have a problem with Islam, says Dutch MP in court
The Herald Sun – MP in court over anit-Muslim comments
Radio Netherlands Worldwide – Populist MP Wilders addresses Amsterdam court
The Star – Right-wing Dutch MP faces hate charge
The San Francisco Examiner – Temple University tacks on last-minute fee for free speech even
Hot Air – The Exception That Tests the Rule
The Muslim News – The Netherlands: Anti-Islam Wilders’ inciting hatred court case starts
The Daily Mail – Unrepentant Dutch MP goes on trial for film attacking the Koran
Radio Netherlands Worldwide – Wilders trial begins in Amsterdam