Here’s a partial run-down of the coverage of Geert Wilders’ day in court today.
Gates of Vienna – “We Have a Hero”:
By the time I get up tomorrow morning, the second phase of the Geert Wilders trial in Amsterdam will have begun, and the news will be pouring in. In the meantime, here are some additional videos of the first session of the trial, which were evidently taken by a camera sneaked past the tight security in the visitors gallery on January 20th.
Our satellite connection is so dicey that I haven’t been able to view all these videos in their entirety, so I hope they work all right for our readers.
Our Flemish correspondent VH, who sent all this material, had this to say:
In a brief notice, Het Vrije Volk posted a link to someone called “Hollandse_Nieuwe”, who is uploading video reports (probably filmed with a candid camera) of Wilders’ trial.
Underneath I added all the related videos (with accompanying texts) that I could find on livingscoop.
Read the rest here, including much video.
In the second session of the trial against Geert Wilders, the Amsterdam court disallowed 15 of the 18 witnesses that the defence of Wilders wanted to put on the stand, among them Mohammed Bouyeri, murderer of Theo van Gogh. Other muslim-extremists were also disallowed as witnesses for the defence. Even the experts on law, requested by Wilders team were rejected.
The only witnesses allowed by the court are three (out of eight originally requested) experts on islam. However, one of these three is Wafa Sultan, according to Dutch News.That’ll make for some spectacular (and for the PC multi-cult crowd quite uncomfortable) viewing.
Challenged by the defence that the court had no jurisdiction over Wilders, the court ruled in favour of itself. While Wilders’ attorney argued that Wilders in an MP and hence subject to the High Council only, the court judged otherwise arguing Wilders is prosecuted for statements outside of parliament.
“Evidently this court is not interested in the truth”, reacted Wilders, “I can only conclude that the court will not allow me a fair trial”.
Read the rest here, and a h/t for many of the links in this post.
NewsOK.com – Dutch lawmaker trial for hate speech to proceed
View From The Right – Wilders restricted to only three witnesses on the nature of Islam
This just in from my friend Paul Belien:
Short session. The court ruled that it is competent to deal with the case. It restricted the list of 18 witnesses which Wilders had asked to be heard to only three people: the Dutch Arabists Jansen and Admiraal, plus Wafa Sultan.
Hans Jansen’s work on Islam is superb and groundbreaking, and he will be an excellent witness, as will Admiraal and the exemplary freedom fighter Wafa Sultan. Nonetheless, this decision indicates the court’s bias against Wilders, and so does not bode well for him. He had wanted to call Mohammed Bouyeri, the Qur’an-inspired murderer of Theo Van Gogh, who would have proven his point immediately, and others who would have buttressed the truth of what he has said. That the court has hindered his ability to do this shows that the railroad tracks are being laid into place.
Read it here.
Laatste Nieuws – Deskundigen Islam gehoord in zaak Wilders
SpitsNieuws – ‘Rechtbank bevoegd in zaak-Wilders’
The Legal Project – Stacking the Deck against Geert Wilders:
By Aaron Eitan Meyer
In a brief courtroom session today, Amsterdam’s District Court found it had jurisdiction to hear the case against Geert Wilders for “inciting hatred,” and further announced it would allow only 3 of the 18 witnesses Wilders had requested.
Wilders had sought three categories of witnesses: 5 free speech experts, 8 Islam experts, and 5 “experiential experts.” This latter category consisted of various Islamists, including Theo van Gogh’s murderer, a Dutch imam who had unsuccessfully tried to sue Wilders, and the Egyptian fundamentalist Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
The court decided to permit only the three Islam experts to testify: Johannes Jansen, Simon Admiraal and Wafa Sultan. In fairness, barring the Islamist witnesses is perhaps excusable. Presumably none would be willing to testify voluntarily, and only one resides freely in the Netherlands. What is much more troubling is the court’s refusal to hear from any of Wilders’ five free speech experts – all of whom would likely have appeared voluntarily.
The criminal case against Wilders revolves around freedom of speech and whether it may be abridged to serve other values such as social cohesion. Wilders’ experts would have offered testimony directly on point: Professor Tom Zwart is a human rights expert, Professor Afshin Ellian teaches Social Cohesion, Citizenship and Multiculturalism, and Professor Andras Sajo sits on the European Court of Human Rights. The two remaining witnesses, Professors Henny Sackers and Theo De Roos are experts in criminal law and procedure.
Indeed, the Public Prosecutor, which is reluctantly pursuing this case at the order of an Amsterdam appellate court, expressed interest in hearing professors Zwart, Ellian and Sajo testify. That the court nevertheless refused to hear from any of these experts feeds the impression that that this is a results-driven exercise rather than a serious impartial attempt to wrestle with the profound issues presented.
Read the rest here.
DutchNews.nl – Court limits Wilders’ witness list:
Wilders has stated his case not only rests on freedom of speech legislation but on the fact that he is speaking the truth.
‘This court is apparently not interested in the truth. I can conclude nothing else other than that the court does not wish me a fair trial,’ he was reported as saying by news agency ANP after the judges’ statement.
Wilders faces five counts of religious insult and anti-Muslim incitement. In January, the public prosecution department extended the prosecution case to include inciting hatred of Muslims, Moroccans and non-Western immigrants.
The court also turned down the prosecution’s call for Wilders himself to be interviewed by an examining judge behind closed doors because of public order fears. Wilders had said he wanted to be questioned in open court.
The prosecution is not planning to bring any witnesses.
The case will take place at some point between June 1 and October 31, news agency ANP reported.
Read the rest here.
Diana West – Wilders Trial Update
Jihad Watch – Wilders wants jihadist murderer to testify at this trial – and Wilders: “This Court is not interested in the truth. This Court doesn’t want me to have a fair trial. I can’t have any respect for this. This Court would not be out of place in a dictatorship.”
Gates of Vienna – Text of the Court’s Decision:
Below is the text of the Amsterdam court’s decision (from the court website), as translated by VH:
Decisions directional session Wilders
Amsterdam, February 3, 2010 — In the criminal case against Wilders at the request of the defense three experts on the Islam and the Quran will be heard by the examining magistrate. The application of the Public Ministry that Wilders be heard by the examining magistrate is rejected. The handling of the content of the case will take place later this year.
At the directional meeting on January 20 the counsel of Geert Wilders presented a preliminary defense and put in place research demands.
The court has first determined that the Amsterdam Court has jurisdiction to handle the Wilders trial and that Wilders may be prosecuted.
The court has commissioned the examining magistrate to hear three experts in the field of Islam and the Koran. These experts are Mr. J.J.G. Jansen, Mr. S.R. Admiraal and Mrs. W. Sultan. The request to hear so-called experience experts in the field of Islam is rejected. According to the court the defense has made not made sufficiently clear what they might add to the trial. The court will also not hear the suggested legal experts, because the defense has enough additional options to present its legal views to the court.
– – – – – – – – –
The Public Prosecutor has requested that Wilders be heard by an examining magistrate. That request was rejected partly because Wilders will be questioned later in public in court.
The case is referred to the investigating magistrate to hear the three experts on Islam. At this time, it cannot yet be determined when the experts can be heard. The case is therefore postponed for an indefinite time. At a later time the court will determine the dates for the content handling.
Read it here.
Wilders On Trial – Geert Wilders: On trial for telling the truth – Geert Wilders’ brilliant speech – ‘I have no regrets’: an interview with Geert Wilders – and check out the latest news.
Gates of Vienna – Wilders’ Lawyer Speaks Out:
Yet another article from De Telegraaf, as translated by VH:
Moszkowicz: Court is overestimating itself
The lawyer for Geert Wilders, Bram Moszkowicz, finds that the court overestimates itself, now that it has found it unnecessary to hear some legal experts. “That is quite something, that a court finds that no legal experts are needed,” Bram Moszkowicz said. “With this the court overestimates itself, and when a judge overestimates himself, I start to be afraid.”
Moszkowicz believes the case of the PVV leader must be “legally grained.” Like his client, the lawyer considers the matter principled enough to want to hear the opinions of legal experts in the courtroom. Among other things he announced that he would then bring the statements of Theo de Roos and Henny Sackers into the case in writing. “The court will thus get a lot of paperwork because of this.”
Bram Moszkowicz was clearly “not amused” by the decisions of the court, but said that rejecting the court is not an option. “That is only possible when you think you can prove that a judge is biased. Self-overestimating is no reason to reject a court.”
Read it here.
Gates of Vienna – The Kangaroos are Jumping in Amsterdam – The Would-Be Witnesses – “I Have No Respect For This” – Wilders on Trial – Islamist Witnesses: Denied – Auntie Els: The Judas of Free Speech in the Netherlands – and Armor Up!
2010-02-03 — In a column of armored vehicles with opaque windows Geert Wilders arrived Wednesday at the Amsterdam Court…
Read it here.
Taiwan News – Dutch lawmaker trial for hate speech to proceed
Radio Netherlands Worldwide – Geert Wilders doesn’t get his way in court:
Dutch politician Geert Wilders was visibly annoyed when he failed to get what he asked for from the three judges hearing his case at the Amsterdam District Court.
Mr Wilders, through his lawyer Bram Moszkowicz, had requested that 17 witnesses testify as part of his defence against charges that include inciting hatred of Muslims and non-western immigrants.
Among others, Mr Wilders had asked that Mohammed Bouyeri, the convicted murderer of Theo van Gogh, be called as a expert witness.
The judges, however, will not allow Bouyeri to testify. They have also ruled that other ‘Muslim extremists’ on Mr Wilders’ ‘wishlist’ will not be allowed to testify. The list includes Fawaz Jneid, imam at the Soennah Mosque in The Hague, and Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, chairman of the Guardian Council in Iran.
Mr Wilders will be permitted to call three experts on Islam, out of the total of eight he had actually asked for. However, two ex-Muslims called by his defence team – in part to give their personal view about the impact of Islam – were also rejected.
In their ruling, the judges say Mr Wilders will have ample opportunity to tell the court whether he agrees with their decision to disallow some of his chosen witnesses
Staying in Amsterdam
The Amsterdam judges also ruled that they have jurisdiction in the case. Mr Moszkowicz had asked that the trial be moved to The Hague, since most of Mr Wilders’ statements were made there.
Geert Wilders was visibly displeased with the rulings of the court, shaking his head repeatedly during the brief announcement.
Reacting to the rulings later, Mr Wilders told journalists outside the courtroom, “This court doesn’t seem to be interested in the truth. I can only conclude that the court is not going to let me have a fair trial. I have no respect for this.”
Mr Wilders bases his defence on his right to freedom of expression. He feels an important element in that respect is that in exercising that right he has in fact been telling the truth about Islam. So, in order to prove that what he says about Islam is true, Mr Wilders says he needs all of his witnesses.
However, some feared that had the judges allowed all seventeen defence witnesses, the trial would become a judgment on Islam, rather than a judgment on whether or not Geert Wilders has incited hatred.
Mr Wilders lawyer Bram Moszkowicz says the judges have overestimated themselves, and “when a judge overestimates himself, I get worried.”
The proceedings have now been adjourned until further notice.
Read it here.
Vlad Tepes – Amsterdam court to hear case against Wilders – Dutch lawmaker trial for hate speech to proceed – Court Rejects Wilders’ Witnesses – Trial of Geert Wilders resumes today – and Stacking the Deck against Geert Wilders