Today it is already the 21st day that Mr. Wilders had to appear in court to defend him selves for his statements he made about Islam.
Last Wednesday, after the prosecution plea, the first two plaintiffs addressed the court. Today it’s Friday and the other plaintiffs have addressed the court. Like I wrote in my Wednesday post, the Plaintiffs represent the victims in this criminal trial, but are not a real legal party in the criminal trial, by law they are only allowed to explain to the court how the crime has affected them and how much damage was caused by it. The court will use their statements to award possible compensation if the verdict against the defended is guilty.
Last Wednesday, we had the censored Marxist ramblings of Nico Steijnen and Erik Olof. Today the court again proposed to censor the pleas of the plaintiff lawyers. But todays lawyers said they did not want to hand over their please so the court good go throught them and mark the allowed and not allowed sections of their pleas.
Below I have described some noteworthy, although incomplete description, of the each plaintiff’s plea, which I hope gives an impression of today’s main events.
The first speaker was Mr. Pestman who started his plea by arguing the legal rights of the plaintiffs. He also said that the hate and fear of Mr. Wilders is threatening for Muslims. Also the concepts Mr. Wilders introduces with his opinions are being used in hateful reactions against Muslims (other plaintiffs will also argue this). For example concepts like 'Islam is political ideology' or 'Muslims use Taqiyya' are being used in a hateful manner against Muslims.
Mr. Pestman asked the court for awarding rectification on Mr. Wilders his own websites. Although the courts president warned Mr. Pestman that this way Mr. Wilders would control for how long this rectification would be available.
Next speaker was Mohammed Rabbae a former party leader of GroenLinks (Greens), who after Geert Wilders made the movie Fitna set up a foundation supported by immigrant organizations in order to get Mr. Wilders prosecuted for making the movie. Mr. Rabbae argued that he and the Muslims he represents are very Dutch and well integrated, although after now living 40 years in The Netherlands he still can't speak a proper Dutch without a very heavy accent.
Another argument of Mr. Rabbae was that the right not to be discriminated was more important than the right of free speech. He also referred to an endless list of proposals of Mr. Wilders in order to show how dangerous he really was. Describing Mr. Wilders as an authoritarian leader, who wanted to close institutions, who wanted to leave the EU, ignore the VN and remake The Netherlands into an authoritarian apartheids state. He also warned the judges that Mr. Wilders even had proposals that would take away their freedom as judges, because Mr. Wilders had proposed minimum sentences and had made a case for a different appointment system.
"even God is not supported by the people [in The Netherlands], so we [muslims] know in what kind of society we live" – Mohammed Rabbae
According to Rabbae the Muslims are the real victims of 9/11. And Mr. Wilders is causing them to be discriminated. He even tried to argue that the high number of schizophrenics under Moroccans is caused by discrimination, and thus, by implication, by Mr. Wilders.
He also said that Mr. Wilders cause Dutch Muslims to be scared. To illustrate this point Mr. Rabbae told the court that some Muslims didn’t even dare to sign anti-Israel petitions because they are afraid of what Mr. Wilders would do with them, after all Mr. Wilders is a friend of Israel (In March Rabbae called Mr.Wilders an instrument of Israel (NL)).
"Mr. Wilders, Islamizes everything, he might even invent that soccer goals of Muslims players don't count in order to safe guard against Islamization" -- Mohammed Rabbae
Although the court warned Mr. Rabbae several times, they still let Mr. Rabbae hold his political activist speech that warned against the imminent danger: Mr. Wilders.
Ms. Bensala made a personal and more direct emotional plea. The plea was remarkable inconsistent. For example she argued that Mr. Wilders was the cause of all racism. But then, moments later started out to describe how her parents (long before Mr. Wilders political career) also had to fight racism when arriving in The Netherlands. She told the court the story about how her family arrived in The Netherlands and faces racism and how the newly arrived family files charges against their racist landlord and won their court battle.
She also complained that Mr. Wilders thinks Muslims are not well integrated and don’t consider The Netherlands their true home. Well that was just untrue, she argued, because when her father died he was buried in The Netherland, as a real Dutch man! And she added: we just ignored all the protest of our friends at the Mosque and our Moroccan friends…
Lawyer Prakke argued that this trial is needed because Wilders opinions are not adequately opposed in the public debate. She also described Mr. Wilders as a paranoid conspiracy thinker who is after Muslims instead of just Islam.
The courts president intervenes; she is not allowed to plea for the guilt of Mr. Wilders. Although the eyes of the judge were on fire when Mr. Moskowicz declared he agreed with that assement. But plaintive Prakke just continued in the same style, so the court stops her and demands she changes her plea. As a result Prakke asks the court for a short recess, in order to restructure her plea. After the recess, Prakke announced she will not plea and stop. The courts president then declared that they have read the next part of her plea in the recess and that they would allow it. Prakke reconsiders and continues her plea.
The elaborate plea about Mr. Wilders, like all others, is very hostile, describing Mr. Wilders as a causing all kind of problems. The hostility goes so far that when she argues that political language causes racism, that she illustrates that with the Hutu- Tutsi genocide in Rwanda.
She also referred to the court order that instructed the prosecution to prosecute. She cited a part of the order that declared Mr. Wilders was found guilty (!) of hate speech. A controversial part of the order, because this court order was the result of a hearing in which Mr. Wilders could not plea his innocence, for this reason the defense had also used referred to this part to argue for the dismissal of this trial.
Defense lawyer Moskowicz complained about her plea, as it was more like an alternative prosecutor’s plea than anything else. But the court refused to intervene, the court president said they would decide later (in private chambers) what they would deem permissible and what not (depriving the defense of knowing what had entered the court case and what not).
After the break Mr. Sarolea hold his plea. He was representing a non-Muslim immigrant, who had said she left the country because she was afraid of Mr. Wilders. Sarolea presented his plea with a thundering and agitated voice. He accuses Mr. Wilders repeatedly of: "using war language", causing "deteriorated living conditions" and creating a "poisoned climate", making "threatening statements" and many more malicious acts.
Mr. Sarolea, like the other plaintiffs, also tried to acts as alternative prosecutor and argued that the prosecutions made mistakes in their plea (they misquoted Rosier) and offered the court his corrections.
Also like some of the other plaintiffs he argued that many (simple) people respond irrational and thus Wilders should not be judged for his exact wordings, but he should be judges for their possible emotional effect on irrational behaving people. He also blamed Wilders for using the term Taqiyya as this makes that people no longer trust Muslims.
Lucien Nix (Representing: Moroccan Mosques)
After the break the lawyer of the Moroccan Mosques in The Netherlands spoke. He said Mr. Wilders was as bad as the assassinated Pim Fortuyn. For him the Muslims were the real victims and he read out a list of mostly minor vandalism crimes. He failed to address the real and actual violence against people, for example why Wilders needed 24h protection or what caused the excessive high crime levels under Moroccan youth.
The biggest offense he brought to bear was that somebody had shredded an Arabic (!) Koran and put it in the mailbox of a Mosque. The imam wanted to get angry but Nix said, the man reconsidered and did not turn to violence (apparently that would be a natural reaction). The book shredding incident was all the fault of Geert Wilders and his Fitna movie. As in Fitna Wilders had argued that Muslims should tear out all aggressive and intolerant parts.
Mr. Nix thinks the idea, to churn out hateful pages out of the Koran, is nothing short than a call for destroying his religion. In support of that claim, he cites a book of Islam critical Arabist Hans Jansen (whose son in the past had received a threatening Fatwa from a Moroccan Mosque) and refers to a passage were Jansen writes that Muslims believe that the Koran is the (perpetual) word of Allah.
Like the other plaintiffs he claims the symbolic sum of 1 Euro for damages done. The only difference is that the Moroccan Mosques want 1 EURO for each of their members, totaling: 128.473 EURO
Jeroen de Kreek
Disbarred lawyer Jereoen de Kreek had the bravest act of today’s performers. When he started his plea, he told the court that he was arresting Mr. Wilders (citizen’s arrest?). After the court told him that this was not possible he argued that Mr. Wilders was an enormous criminal, involved in war crimes, terrorism, genocide and that the both the prosecution and the court were complicit because they did not arrest Mr. Wilders on the spot for these obvious facts. After a while the court intervened and asked Mr. de Kreek to continue with an other part of his plea.
Mr. de Kreek explained how much he was suffering because of Mr. Wilders. First of all, he did not like to appear in public (neither did he wanted to be filmed) but Mr. Wilders forced him to appear here in court. He also told the court that Mr. Wilders was consuming all his available time, he could not think about anything else than Mr. Wilders, who also was the cause he did not sleep very well and caused him not to be able to concentrate him selves. Mr. Wilders took all the fun out of his day to day life.
Besides this Mr. de Kreek was also hurt in business, because all his time was now consumed by Mr. Wilders, he just had no time left to spend on his internet business. Also, because Mr. Wilders his negative presentation of Islam a business plan had prematurely tanked: Mr. de Kreek had planned to setup Sharia courts in The Netherlands. (Mr. de Kreek is not a Muslim).
He also said he was suffering from psychosomatic stress disorder because of Mr. Wilders. And said he could also see that both the judiciary and the judges of the court were showing signs of that same disorder, of course all caused by Mr. Wilders.
The judges would later make an early end to his plea.
Monday afternoon, May 31, 2011 the defense will plea. Mr. Moskowicz wanted to reschedule and asked the court if he was expected to plea for 10 hours none-stop? The courts president answered short: yes we think you can manage that (nothing to do with this!).
Wilders Trial day 20: Prosecution asks NOT guilty
All blog post about Wilders Trial
Video footage of todays trial day (Dutch only):
Jereoon de Kreek (incomplete)