Today Wilders accused Judge Tom Schalken of the Amterdam court that ordered the trial against him of mafia practices.
"Newspaper De Pers: Judge Schalken of the Amsterdam court tried to influence expert witness Hans Jansen during a dinner. Mafiapractice."
--Geert Wilders @Twitter
Newspaper De Pers today ran a story (NL) about expert witness Hans Jansen. It's about a blog posting by Hans Jansen, who is a regular contributor of the Dutch group blog named Hoeiboei (NL). In yesterdays blog post Jansen wrote about a dinner (NL) for which he was invited only three days before his expert witness testimony in the trial against Geert Wilders (translation of this blog post by Hans Jansen here: Judge Schalken).
Hans Jansen was invited to the dinner by a 50 year old friend, Bertus Hendriks (NL), the friend however is also a leftwing activist for the Palestinan cause. Unknown to Hans Jansen were the other invited guests. It turned out several were judges and prosecutors, one of them was Tom Schalken. Of course Tom Schalken is not just a judge, he is one of the three judges who ordered the trial against Geert Wilders. During the dinner the judge repeatedly steered the conversation with Jansen to the Wilders trial. The judge clearly wanted to talk about it with Hans Jansen and influence his opinions about the trial. But Hans Jansen writes, he was not very impressed by his obviously fake friendly way of convincing him.
In a way that can only add to conspiratorial mindset about this trial Judge Tom Schalken today confirmed the dinner in the press, and said there was nothing illegal about it. What was against the rules however was that Hans Jansen spoke about the dinner publicly.
"I don’t know about the values at the Amsterdam judiciary. But it shows a bit, if I may use layman terms, that the court that ordered the prosecution of Wilders are a bit legal punks, not people with descent manners"
-- Hans Jansen @ Pow News (Dutch National Television)
The story has received wide public attention in The Netherlands. Thus when todays trial begun, defense lawyer Moszkowicz refered to the press stories and asked the court to hear Mr. Hans Jansen again in court. The prosecution objected and argues that the incident was after the court ruled to prosecute Wilders and thus the incident was of no influence of prejudiced of judge Schalken. But Moszkowicz countered that he also wanted to know if the judge has tried to influence the expert witness in this trial and that his behavior could also clarify his earlier behavior in the court ruling that ordered the prosecution of Wilders.
Although, Hans Jansen was present in the court, the court rejected the request without motivation but in a rather cryptic way. They court said something like: we will not hear Mr. Jansen today, but that the issue will stay part of their deliberations and that they might hear him later if the court deems it necessary.
After a short deliberation defense lawyer Moszkowicz requested for the second time a substitution court (Dutch: 'wraking') for asking for the disqualification of this court on grounds that he may not hear a key witness in this trial that can proof the innocence of Mr. Wilders and thus the defense can no longer assume the court is without prejudiced against Mr. Wilders.
The court of substitution is of course also an Amsterdam court. Thus the court of substitution is filled with the colleagues of the current court and with colleagues of the court that ordered the prosecution against Mr. Wilders. Some might ask themselves the hypothetical question: how many dinner guest of Hans Jansen will be on this court?
Before the court of substitution defense lawyer Moszkowicz plead for dismissal of the court on three grounds:
- Remarks of judge Jan Moorse on Wilders usage of his right to remain silent
- Remarks by judge Jan Moorse that gave a value statement on Fitna
- The court’s rejection of hearing a key witness Mr. Hans Jansen again on how judge Schalken tried to influence him before the trial
Moszkowicz argues that "this is about the nature of the constitutional state" as this is a trial against a chosen parliamentary member. Later in his argument he would even characterize the judge his behavior as to be only expected in a banana republic. When Geert Wilders addressed the court, he declared considering pressing criminal charges against Judge Schalken.
During the deliberation time of the substitution court Wilders has indeed filed charges at a local police station against Judge Tom Schalken for trying to influence a court expert witness.
The substitution court started 16:00 CET and came with a ruling. All judges in the court case against Geert Wilders are DISMISSED! The trial has to be done all over by a new court...
I've made a translation of the blog post by Arabist Hans Jansen that lead to the dismissal of today’s court: Judge Schalken (Arabist Hans Jansen his blog post)
(original Dutch: Hoeiboei.blogspot.com - Schalken, raadsheer).
Judge Schalken (blog post Hans Jansen)
Breaking: Judges in Wilders trial DISMISSED
Wilders Trial - Day 7
Wilders Trial - Day 6
Wilders Trial - Day 5
Wilders Trial - Day 4
Wilders Trial - Day 3
Wilders Trial - Day 3: Testimony of Arabist Simon Admiraal on Islam
Wildert Trial - Day 3: Testimony of Wafa Sultan on Islam
Wilders Trial - Day 2
Justice minister Hirsch Ballin directing prosecution of Geert Wilders
Trial day 1: Evidence given by Arabist Prof. Hans Jansen (Gov)
Wilder Trial - Day 1
Wilders trial: Court rejects 15 out of 18 witnesses for the defence
Breaking: Geert Wilders on trial January 20th 2010
Breaking: Court orders prosecution of Wilders