This 23th day in the trial against Mr. Wilders is the last real trial day in the case against Mr. Wilders.
Prosecutor Birgit van Roessel
The day started with a response of the prosecution to the plea of the defense. Birgit van Roessel explained that she had no need for a response and that the the prosecution thinks the Mr. Wilders can be prosecuted, that he was summoned correctly and that they plead not guilty.
Defense lawyer Bram Moszkowicz
The response of the defense to this was even shorter: "thank you president".
Plaintiff lawyer Erik Olof
Then the so called representatives of the victims in this criminal case were allowed to speak for the last time. First plaintiff was Erik Olof. The court requested to hand over a copy of his plea, but when he hesitated the courts president remarked: "Are you afraid of censorship?", he remarked that some have described it like that (as has this blog as well). But according to President Marcel van Oosten: "this court does not apply censorship".
Lawyer Olof presented himself as the representative of all the ordinary Muslims in The Netherlands. He complained about what he called "the smear campaign of Mr. Wilders". Who according to him does discriminate Muslims and because of Mr. Wilders his clients feel threatened in their fundamental human rights. They even are under existential threat by Mr. Wilders.
The plaintiff also kept repeating that Muslims were infringed on their fundamental human rights when they were no long allowed to read the Koran, when their coreligionist were now longer allowed to immigrate into the country and when they were no longer allowed to build their mosques.
His arguments rested on a fundament of repeat, repeat and more repeat. Like a real propagandist he endlessly repeated his claims, but offering little support for them. This Marxist propaganda strategy was a bit too obvious, it eventually lead to complaints from the court.
Erik Olof also used a Godwin: and alluded to the situation of the Jews before they went to the concentration camps. He was only stopped by the court when he started to explicitly argue about the guilt of Mr. Wilders. But after that warning Erik Olaf started characterizing Mr. Wilders. He was a strange man, without any empathy. He suggested that the court would do an investigation into the mental health of Mr. Wilders. Olaf characterized the court appearance of Mr. Wilders as he was an "dummy doll". But when he described Mr. Wilders as "a man who actually is crazy" and "a schizophrenic", the court finally intervened and prohibited him to use this kind of language in court.
Plaintiff lawyer Pestman provided the court with a letter with what he described as new found evidence, a right that alleged victims in a criminal trial have. He is told he received the evidence from the radical leftwing organization Nederland bekent Kleur who he represents. The organization had contacted well known Georgetown University professor John Esposito. This professor is no stranger in the Islam debate and is a well-known apologist for Islam, who also is known to receive funding from the Saudi royal family. Besides that Mr. Esposito is known for acting as a friendly defense witness in high profile trials against terrorist (see: investigative projects on terrorism).
The new 'evidence' consisted about statements about the expertise of defense witness Andrew G. Bostom. So what was the evidence? Most likely the 'new evidence' consisted of the fact that Mr. Bostom is an "Associate Professor of Medicine", as can be read in his Wikipedia entry and in his published books. Most likely, because the plaintiff was not allowed finishing his plea about the credibility of Mr. Bostom. The prosecution complained that a plaintiff was by law allowed to introduce evidence, but was not allowed to present it to the court. And that was the end of Mr. Pestman his plea.
Ties Prakke declined to speak today.
Plaintiff lawyer Sarolea accused Mr. Wilders among other things of creating a poisoned climate in The Netherlands. When he announced he was going to react on the defense plea, he was stopped by the court. But he never the less gave an alternative explanations about how to interpreted the law and the words of legal expert Sackers. By that, he still got to make his reaction to the plea of both the defense and prosecution. Like before he also accused Mr. Wilders of speaking in terms of war and complained about his positive likening of the Turkish defeat and massacre at Vienne. He also cites a former liberal (VVD) minister Voorhoeve who invoked the Dutch failure and Dutch foreign policy trauma of Srebrenica, in order to describe his opposition to the ideas of Mr. Wilders.
Lucien Nix (Representing: Moroccan Mosques)
Mr. Nix is the plaintiff lawyer who represents the organizations of Moroccan Mosques in The Netherlands still had no good words for Mr. Wilders. He also reacted to the defense plea to reject the court order that had ordered this trial, Nix in response held a defense of that court order. Again he stated that comparing the Koran to Mein Kampf was offensive for and about Muslims. Because the Koran is for Muslims what Jesus is for the Christians, a part of God. Also if you say, the Koran is Mein Kampf, you are actually saying that Muslims use Mein Kampf five times a day, he lamented.
When plaintiff Mr. de Kreek was about to plea, there were some technical difficulties with the microphone. The court took a short recess, but in the recess the court had read the plea of Mr. de Kreek. When the court continued, President Marcel van Oosten explained the plaintiff that his plea was outside the boundaries of what was allowed for his role in court. Plaintiffs, by law, are only allowed to address the court for explaining how the 'crime' has affected them. As this was not the first problem with this particular plaintiff, the president just summarized his plea. But Mr. De Kreek argued against that decision and just started an alternative plea. Soon later, the court stops his rant about Mr. Wilders.
The last words in the trial are for Mr. Wilders. See here: Geert Wilders final trial Speech (video with English subtitles)
This was the last real trial day, though the court needs more time, so the official last trial day will be June 9th, 2011, that will only be a formal trial day, just for closing. The judges will rule on the June 23th, 2011.
Trial Day 22
All blog posts about this trial