Wilders Trial day 20: Prosecution asks NOT guilty

Judges Wilders Trial
This is now the 20th trial day in the trial against Mr. Wilders. Today it was the prosecutions turn to plea. Again it was an elaborated, detailed, dry and longwinded plea that was hard to follow for the layperson. Just like the last time, the prosecution again asked for: NOT GUILTY on all counts.

The consensus is that the judges will rule like wise. But would you sleep any better if you were the defended? Even if Mr. Wilders wins this trial, he still lost more than 20 days of his live in trial and many more in the preparation of it. Also, even if the judge follows the prosecutions plea, that does not automatically mean Mr. Wilders and Free Speech in general is of the hook either. Other trials may follow, either against Mr. Wilders or others. That’s why the argumentation of this court decision is so important; this trial is about case law.

So where do we stand? Well the length and complexity of the prosecutions plea seems a good indication of how the situation with free speech now is in The Netherlands: very, very difficult. You can be prosecuted for giving your opinions about Islam and if the court would follow all arguments of the prosecution it becomes very risky to say too much about it.

prosecutor Velleman

Also I would like the readers to remember that one of the prosecutors, now asking for not guilty against Mr. Wilders is the infamous Mr. Velleman. That’s the prosecutors who send a nightly SWAT team to raid the home of a Dutch cartoonist for making Mohammed cartoons. The cartoonist was put him in jail but Velleman never brought his case to trial, holding a possible trial for year dangling above the head of the cartoonist. The cartoonist went fairly silent after that treatment.

As expected such a prosecutor is not very neutral to Mr. Wilders. Thus the prosecution described Mr. Wilders his arguments as one sided (one of their criteria for inadmissible speech), rude and offensive. But the prosecutors found Mr. Wilders his proposal for stopping immigration of non-Western immigrants harder to judge. They considered the proposal discriminator but as he was advocating a policy and did not actually try to convince people into acting in this racist manner, they thought it was admissible speech. Because according to the prosecution it was allowed to persuade people into a racist and discriminatory mind set, as long as you did not try to convince those people into actually acting racist.

Prosecutor: "The party program of the PVV is discriminator"

The prosecution also explained the court what Wilders meant with his movie Fitna and said among other things: Wilders shows violence that is the result of Islam, directed against people, both Muslims as non-Muslims. In the movie Muslims are shown as the instruments of Islam.

But there was also room for some laughs, the prosecution and the president of the court joked about 11 September (the Vienna one) in reference to presidents statement of yesterday. Not sure what was so funny about it, just thought it was noteworthy.

Prosecutor Birgit van Roessel

So what did we learn today? Well we now know a little more about what is admissible when we speak about Islam. Although we know not all the rules, because I can’t give an adequate summery of an 8 hour legal explanation, you at least have to know these rules:

  • Politicians can be prosecuted like regular people for speech offenses.

  • But regular folks have less free speech than politicians

  • An offensive argument that supports your cause is more likely to be allowed than an offensive argument that does not support you point very well

  • It is allowed to make people think racist and discriminatory, but it is not admissible to convince them to act racist or discriminatory.

  • It’s not allowed to say that we are in an intrinsically conflict with others (forbidden: the Nazis will exterminate us).

  • Politicians are not allowed to propose solutions that are deemed excessive in relation to the problems they say it solves.

  • Not what you say, but what it might provoke in others is what determines the legality of your speech.

  • Remember some speech is only allowed because the current state of the debate in Europe allows it (so please don’t say to many innovative things)

Judges in Wilders Trial - Marcel van Oosten

After the prosecution was finished around 17:00 the court decided to continue with councilor-complainants Nico Steijnen and Erik Olof. The courts behavior to these counselors gave us some interesting insights in the courts ideas about free speech.

These councilor-complainants are of course the extreme leftist and Muslim activist lawyers who had forced this court case in the first place. You can imagine that these lawyers were not very happy with the prosecutions plea for a not guilty. If these activist lawyers had their way, they would act as second prosecutors in this court case (that’s what they tried in the earlier court case).

But the law does give them a very specific role in a criminal trial. In a criminal trial the victims are only allowed to talk about damage done and request compensation (an idea that grew out of the frustration that victims had to start a costly civil suite for getting compensation for damages done). It’s of course the court’s responsibility to prevent abuse of this arrangement.

So the court decided to act pro-actively. Amazingly they decided to censor the lawyers. Thus instead of waiting what the councilor-complainant were going to bring in front of the court, they asked the lawyers to hand over their pleas. Then the court took as short recess, during which they quickly reviewed the plea and marked all sections they deemed not admissible in court. Then they asked the lawyers to hold their original plea but without the market sections. When the lawyer clumsy asked for making another ad hoc plea, the court president repeatedly pressed him for just making the censored plea.

It’s not hard to imagine how confusing a half censored Marxist rambling sound. Well, it was shorter, less structured but still much more than a plea for damages done. It can best be described as repetitive hate speech propaganda that tried to massage the brain with the message that evil Geert Wilders had to be stopped before he grabbed power and become an existential threat to all of us. If one would apply the same legal standards, as laid out by the prosecution today, to this court rant, you would have quite strong case for prosecution.

Logically the rand led to complaints of defense lawyer Moszkowicz. Although it was his first complaint in today’s session, it angered the court; the courts president snapped that he was only slowing things down with his complaints. The president said he did not stop the councilor because the court would just ignore all the inadmissible statements he would make (although the defense would never know what and what not they would considered allowed, making a defense against the allegations very hard). But the defense lawyer stood his ground and complaint he was not in a hurry, all he wanted was a fair trial even if that meant they would have to stay until midnight. The court ignored him.

The trial ended at 19:00, next session is Friday May 27, 2011.

Geert Wilders

See also:
All Wilders Trial blog posts
Wilders Trial day 19: Judge praises Turks for Viennese coffee

Others on this trial day:
Expatica - Prosecutors again call for anti-Islam lawmaker's acquittal

5 reacties:

Fredy zei

Indeed, they are using the blunt frontal
assault on free speech to do a more subtle attack on free speech while pleading
for dismissal of the charges. When they say it’s permissible to criticize a
religion, they are only paying lip service to the whole ideas of free speech.
Because at the same time they present these intricate rules that do have to
determine whether your speech could lead to your prosecution. It’s just legal FUD
and creates the same kind legal situation as under sharia law, were people,
especially unbelievers; never know for sure if what they are saying will be
punishable under Islamic law.

Guest zei

The whole point of this is the trial. Mark Stein and Ezra Levant came to the conclusion that the trial is the punishment in Canada under their hate speech law that saw them accused and having to defend themselves. It is especially problematic that truth is no defence. How can so many countries be infected with the same disease.  

Klein Verzet zei

Those are two very astute observations. From the beginning I had a suspicion the trial *was* the punishment. And a deterrence. Ordinary citizens will think twice before opening their mouths in a frank manner, seeing how Wilders is dealt with.

Your second observation, about the universality of the problem in the West, also bears a little contemplation. Maybe it is a natural evolution of secular humanist thinking and self-selection of likeminded individuals (who, in fact, have no business running a local chop shop, let alone entire states and inter-governmental institutions). Some suspect a vast conspiracy, Bilderberg and Council on Foreign Relations. Christians see the hand of the evil one. Whatever it is, it is a strange phenomenon.

Guest zei

Your comment to my post "Maybe it is a natural evolution of secular humanist thinking and self-selection of like minded individuals..." has made me think hard as to why these ideas are so universal in the West and I think I might have found the answer.
I believe there are a significant number of players, politicians, bureaucrats, teachers, religious leaders, journalists and writers who believe the state should have power over us and automatically those that think this way believe they know what is best for individuals and humanity. Seeing their success in controlling those around them with fear mongering, first over population, ices ages and more recently pollution and global warming, they wish to see world governance instituted and work towards that end. They have the best of intentions they believe, but one thing that stands in their way is sovereignty. Not only the sovereignty of nations but the sovereignty of the individual enshrined in the concepts of individual freedom and the Common Law.

Thus the concept of multiculturalism, which politicians now acknowledge has failed, can be seen as a means of breaking down the power of the people as a nation to hold truths about individual freedom as self evident and to act as one united force to oppose ideas and actions leading to the the imposition of world government for our collective benefit. It is commonly thought that we can stop wars if we stop having a national identity and ignore racial differences but of course nationalism is just as much a perversion of sovereignty as multiculturalism is and the use of religious hatred to exploit the masses is an attack on the sovereignty of the individual.

Of course so far in all this I have said nothing about Geert Wilders his trial and freedom of speech so how is it that we have ended up with Islam at our door?
In the past a nations have been conquered by someone opening the gates and letting the army in and I believe it is the very nature of Islam that has, by accident, been allowed in. The gate is our sovereignty, the army is Islam itself with the requirement for believers to submit to Allah. 
By dismissing sovereignty of the individual and the nation we have left a vacuum for Islam to fill. Our tolerance of religious differences has made us blind to the religious imperatives of Islam which is intolerant of anything that does not arise from the Quoran and the Islamic Courts(Shariah). 

We have again arrived at the time of the seige of Vienna in 1529, Geert Wilders and you blog is part of a multi national effort to oppose the Ottoman empire, if we work towards restoring our individual sovereignty and the sovereignty of nations, we will stop tolerating the intolerable and the world of Islam and its handbook the Quoran, will fade away as it has done in the past.
We must make sure the gates of Vienna hold firm and are held closed by the wisdom, sovereignty and courage of all the people from every nation around the world for it is a fight we must not lose.

Klein Verzet zei

We must make sure the gates of Vienna hold firm and are held closed by
the wisdom, sovereignty and courage of all the people from every nation
around the world for it is a fight we must not lose.

This is very much a fight we must not lose. But the enemy, the true enemy, is not outside the gates. The enemy is within, convincing us we must and actively seeking to open the gates and let all and sundry in.

That is what is so nefarious about multiculturalism: It pits indigenous folk against immigrants, unfairly favouring the latter so as to create resentment. But while we are focussing our attention and energies on muslim fanatics and their loathsome fellow travellers, we forget who is responsible for letting the Wahabi scum in in the first place: Our leaders, our political and social 'elites'.

The EUnion is opening up shop in Africa, planning to import 50 millions for there to here. The Euromed initiative means another 20 million immigrants from around the Mediterranean by 2015. Local governments do not protest and if they do they're brought to heel in short order. They signed on to Lisbon after all. In the US you see a similar mechanic, with Washington (both sides of the aisle) preparing for a massive general pardon for illegal immigrants.

It is our leaders that are, for whatever reason, the ones creating the problems. It is them we should focus our attention on. They are the enemy. And they are within the gates. And we must deal with them first, before we have any hope of successfully dealing with the siege going on outside our gates.


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