Today was the second part of the defense of Geert Wilders by his lawyer Moszkowicz.
Again the defense made clear that Geert Wilders just warns against hate and intolerance. It’s just plain wrong to equate warning against hate and intolerance is hate speech. It’s especially wrong because Wilders his statements are supported by facts. And that is not as the prosecutor in its postmodern statement claimed ‘just some ones opinion’.
Defense lawyer Moszkowicz argued that truth and the support of, in this case, unopposed evidence is relevant for this trial against Geert Wilders. He reminds the court of a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), in which it ruled that statements supported by facts are much better protected against limits on free speech. Moszkowicz build an argument that inferred from that: the truer a claim is, the less it can be restricted by the courts.
The defense also argued that nobody has opposed the facts used by Mr. Wilders, not the prosecution, not the plaintives, nor the court itself. All the expert witnesses support these facts. Used statistics come from undisputed government sources. The facts are even in agreement with rulings of the European Court of Human Rights. In one of its rulings this ECHR ruled that Islamic law, sharia, is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.
About the state of free speech in The Netherlands defense lawyer Moszkowicz tried to put things in perspective for the court. He reminded the court that the expert witnesses in this court could not make their statements fearlessly. Also a possible conviction by the court will not solve anything, it only will make 'people' more sensitive about feeling offended, it will only result in more court cases and more unrest in society. It will also have, what he called, a chilling effect. Free speech will be suppressed by fear for penalization by the courts.
Today session went on for hours, so of course there has been said much more than I can write done here. That’s partly because there are so much details and partly because it was also partly a technical defense. Thinks like, the correct procedures, did the prosecution acted within its legal mandate, did the plaintive use the correct procedures and why are the plaintives not full known. For the uninitiated it’s very hard to make distinction in the minor and mayor legal matters.
But you don’t need to have a legal degree to note that the defense of today was not only a defense against claims put forward by the prosecution. The whole day was also a defense about claims made in what can be described as the ‘indictments’ presented by the plaintives lawyers. Even the layperson can wonder: is having multiple independent ‘prosecuting’ parties in a criminal trial, a fair trial?
It’s to be expected, that even a not guilty verdict in this trial, will have the interest of many, both national as international. Thus the day ended with Geert Wilders his defense lawyer Moszkowicz asking the court to make it’s ruling fully available to the public (yes, that’s right, court rulings in criminal cases are standardly not made publicly available in The Netherlands, it has something to do with the privacy of criminals).
Other reports on the trial today:
American Thinker - Another Victim of Europe's Jihad Against Islamo-Realism
Dutchnews.nl: Wilders not trying to create conflict and divisions
Expatica: Politicians' words protected: Dutch anti-Islam MP's lawyer
Judge Schalken (blog post Hans Jansen)
Breaking: Judges in Wilders trial DISMISSED
Wilders Trial - Day 8
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