Earlier I posted an outline of the court case against Dutch radical politician Geert Wilders. Tomorrow the trial will begin. A few notes are in place to update you:
- The trial may go on for a long time. Last week Wilders’ lawyer Moszkowicz objected to his client being on trial and stated that the prosecution was false. The court has rejected this. Wednesday 20 january is the first day of the trial. At this day the content of the accusations is not at issue. This day is a day of procedures. The public prosecutor and Wilders can call for experts and witnesses. Then it will take several months for the trial to start. After that Wilders can still appeal if he is convicted and if he is convicted then again, he can go the the Supreme Court and if that does not work out he can go the European Court of Human Rights.
- The search for the ‘truth’ in these cases is not solely done by the public prosecutor, but is done during the court case. This means that it is not by definition so that the public prosecutor will declare a guilty verdict at the end of the case. Today the public prosecutors office stated that it may possible ask for acquittal in this case.
- The trial yields much debate on the internet. IFPS has an online symposium featuring for example Bat Ye’or. Global Voices looks at two Egyptian blogs (one of them Ramblings of a Fool for Life) and Daniel Pipes explains why he stands behind Geert Wilders. An earlier statement by The American Muslim features on a Facebook group Muslims response to Geert Wilders (The Dutch Parliament Member). Also several news sources provide some information: The Times, TAZ.de, Libération.fr, and Deutsche Welle. The Dutch NRC International has a brief but adequate overview of the case Has Wilders broken the law? and Radio Netherlands asks who is funding Wilders’ defence.
- On his Dutch Twitter channel Wilders has stated that he is ready and confident that the case can only lead to acquittal. Freedom of expression has to win, according to him. Also a Dutch language website What Wilders Wants has been setup left wing activists summarizing the case against Wilders as Wilders discriminates against Muslims and migrants, Wilders incites to hatred and fear, Wilders wants racism, insults groups, and refuses debates.
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Part Zero – Outlining the case
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