Dutch Courage at Geert Wilders’ farcical trial. Cheers! He is INNOCENT, more or less…

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    15th October 2010

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    Yes, the public prosecutor, that’s the arm of the law which decides that there is a case to answer in the first place, has peformed a volte face and has decided that Wilders is NOT GUILTY of any of the charges laid against him. So does that mean he can go home now and get on with his parliamentary life, he and his 24-hour bodyguard? Course not. You mad or something?

    Radio Netherlands Worldwide has this on today’s developments in the farcical trial of politician Geert Wilders:

    The Geert Wilders trial is as good as over. The public prosecutor has called for the populist politician to be acquitted of all charges against him. The trial will continue, but everything is now an anti-climax.

    During two days of intricately constructed arguments, the prosecutors told the court they found no evidence that Geert Wilders had broken the law.

    Acquittal
    “We request acquittal on fact 2…we request acquittal on fact 3.” Statement after statement, and charge after charge, prosecutors Birgit van Roessel and Paul Velleman, who took turns reading the arguments, said Wilders had not broken the law.

    The prosecutors consistently came to the same conclusion. What Wilders said may be ‘hurtful to Muslims, and may be met with emotional responses’, but he did not break the law.

    The prosecutors analysed each of Wilders’ statements for each of the five charges against him. The charges included group defamation, inciting hatred of Muslims and non-western ethnic minorities, and inciting discrimination of Muslims and non-western ethnic minorities.

    Few precedents
    The prosecutors based their arguments on a few basic principles. In the first place, there is little jurisprudence in Dutch law to fall back on, particularly in the cases of incitement. The jurisprudence on the European level is somewhat broader, including recent cases decided by the European Court of Human Rights against Jean Marie le Pen in France, and Daniel Féret in Belgium. The lawyers cited both cases, as well as a few cases in Dutch courts.

    In addition, prosecutors maintained a very close, cautious reading of the law. Statements have to meet very specific criteria to be considered incitement.

    This is particularly true in the case of a politician taking part in a national debate.

    Against Islam, not Muslims

    For Wilders’ comments to be illegal, they must target a specific group, and be aimed at creating an intrinsic division between two groups.

    Ms van Roessel and Mr Velleman said Wilders’ statements were not directed toward Muslims as people, but towards Islam. “Stop the tsunami of Islamisation” , or “the Qur’an is the Muslim Mein Kampf” are clearly directed at Islam. Wilders’ film Fitna falls into the same category.

    But prosecutors said this was true even for statements such as saying a neighbourhood of Utrecht is now a “dirty, filthy place because 95 percent of the people who live there now are Muslim”, or ” there is a connection between Islam and crime. These thugs’ behaviour stems from their belief.”

    These comments were also seen as part of Mr Wilders’ campaign against Islam, not against Muslims.

    Democratic
    Another qualifying factor is that Wilders’ comments were part of a broader social debate, and were part of a political programme that would get implemented in a democratic manner. The nature of the programme itself is irrelevant, as are his motivations for saying or writing what he did.

    The fact that some of his programme will now be implemented by the new government, supported by Mr Wilders’ party in parliament, was not even mentioned in court.

    Mr Wilders remained stony-faced even while the prosecutors were letting him off the hook. Just twenty-four hours after the cabinet he made possible posed with the Queen. He can allow himself a smile.


    It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world indeed.

     

    Developments today.

    1. This afternoon the Dutch prosecutor said that ALL CHARGES should be dropped by the court in the Netherlands at the trial of Geert Wilders. It was reported in Dutch News that he was “not guilty of inciting”.

    The public prosecution department on Friday afternoon stated that Geert Wilders is not guilty of discriminating against Muslims. Earlier on Friday it announced he should also be found not guilty of inciting hatred.

    Prosecutors Birgit van Roessel and Paul Velleman reached their conclusions after a careful reading of interviews with and articles by the anti-Islam politician and a viewing of his anti-Koran film Fitna.

    They said comments about banning the Koran can be discriminatory, but because Wilders wants to pursue a ban on democratic lines, there is no question of incitement to discrimination ‘as laid down in law’.

    On the comparison of the Koran with Mein Kampf, the prosecutors said the comparison was ‘crude but that did not make it punishable’.

    Dealing earlier on Friday with incitement to hatred, Van Roessel and Velleman said some comments could incite hatred against Muslims if taken out of context, but if the complete text is considered, it can be seen that Wilders is against the growing influence of Islam and not against Muslims per sé.

    On Tuesday, the prosecutors said the MP should not be found guilty of group insult.

    The public prosecution department was forced to take the case by the high court after anti-racism campaigners protested at its refusal to prosecute Wilders.

    © DutchNews.nl

    2. In response to this Wilders said he was very happy

    Geert Wilders proclaimed himself ‘very happy’ with the public prosecution department’s announcement on Friday afternoon that he should be found not guilty on all charges of inciting hatred and discrimination.

    The anti-Islam MP told reporters: ‘I don’t insult, I don’t incite to hate and I don’t discriminate. The only thing I do and will continue doing is speak the truth.’

    Campaigners who took the case to the high court to force the public prosecutors to bring the case against Wilders said they were ‘disappointed’.

    ‘We hope the court will come to a judgement on a number of the charges,’ a spokesman told reporters.


    So, did you, putting two and two together and getting five, assume that meant he had been acquitted? Me too, for a few minutes. It soon became clear that this was not the case. This is only the Prosecutors’ opinion. It is still up to the judges, or panel of judges to decide. Presumably they could ignore the prosecutors and still find him guilty of one or more of the charges. I sincerely hope not.

     

    A few bloggers assumed too that this little factor –  the opposing side saying he was not guilty – would mean that he should go free. Such as Atlas Shrugs, whose update explains the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me Dutch Courage. I suppose if he’d been tried under sharia he’d already be dead meat.

    CHEERS, Geert!

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    35 Responses to “Dutch Courage at Geert Wilders’ farcical trial. Cheers! He is INNOCENT, more or less…”

    1. Stan Says:

      The legalistic arguments against not prosecuting Wilders look very similar to those deployed against not prosecuting the Islamist hate preachers and those calling for the assassination of Tony Blair.

      Sometimes the niceties if the law can be a cloak for a multitude of sins.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Really Stan? Except for two things –
        1. I don’t recall anyone standing in court charged over Islamist hate, which Anjem Choudary still espouses to this day.
        2. I don’t recall anyone standing in court charged over threatening to assassinate Blair, though you and I both know many have so threatened, including the barrister Geeek Lawyer.

        The day the law ALSO even ATTEMPTS to make an example of a fundamentalist Islamist or of a would-be assassin is the day I accept the easy “the law can be a cloak for a multitude of sins” with all the innuendo that is contained in that phrase. In BOTH these latter cases the perpetrators or would-be perpetrators WERE calling for death. In Wilders case he WASN’T.

        No comparison.

    2. Peter Reynolds Says:

      This is very interesting:

      http://www.medialens.org/alerts/10/100917_a_journey_unchallenged.php

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Yes, I have come across medialens before. They are clearly out to prove that western democratically elected politicians are the villains of ALL the pieces. And peaces.

        They count bodies, while never mentioning that many of them were killed by locals and near locals in Iraq. They never count the value of democracy to today’s Iraqis or to the rest of the Middle East, thus the world.

    3. Peter Reynolds Says:

      In fact, I see you are mentioned!

    4. Stan Says:

      It just goes to show how bonkers these medialens people are. They just can’t see that their quotes actually work in favour of Blair not against him. And of course in typical fashion they ignore Marr’s disgraceful interview with Alistair Campbell and the BBC’s even more disgraceful coverage of the Iraq inquiry.

    5. Peter Reynolds Says:

      “dirty, filthy place because 95 percent of the people who live there now are Muslim”

      I’m a fervent supporter of freedom of speech and an opponent of censorship through political correctness but this statement is unacceptable.

      It probably doesn’t quite justify prosecution but it comes perilously close.

      As in so many other instances, Wilders needs to be very careful he dosn’t become guilty of exactly what he’s complaining about.

      As for the absurd Dutch legal process, this saddens me. They are such a sensible people. In a strange way, perhaps too sensible in this case. As I said in another place, that’s what you get from an investigative rather than an adversarial legal system.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Well, Peter – there are some parts of London that I’d describe as “dirty, filthy” and it wasn’t always the case. There may be no connection with the number of Muslims, of course, though on the other hand, there may be a connection. If Wilders thinks there is as regards his own country, he should be free to say so.

        Nothing said in that way comes anywhere NEAR perilously close to justifying prosecution. If Anjem Choudary can say what he does about Britain and the west being evil and about to be taken over by Islamist Caliphaters, and no-one complains, Wilders can say what he likes about one little town in the land of his ancestral birth.

        Once people balance such comparisons and complaints more rationally I will take their point. But PC, I ain’t. Not any more.

    6. Stan Says:

      Unfortunately comments like that suggest their is a causal link between “dirt and filth” and followers of Islam, whereas Islam puts much emphasis on cleanliness. Wilders could have simply referred to immigrants living in a third world sort of way but he didn’t do so because he wishes to associate every kind of nastiness with the Muslims just as the Nazis did with the Jews.

      As such he is the greatest ally of Muslim extremists. Every word he utters can be used to gain recruits to their cause. That’s why I am so much against him.

      • Peter Reynolds Says:

        I’m with you 100% on that. It’s called shooting yourself in the foot and it makes you look really stupid.

        In this case, discretion is the better part of valour. It’s also more likely to succeed.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        And this, Stan, is where you and Peter are of like minds. I’m not with either of you on this.

        Let me ask you a few things –

        Do you two take equal exception to the utterances of many if not most Muslims, fundamental or not, that Islam’s Sharia Law takes precedence over ours?
        Do you two take equal exception to the separation of the genders in many of our British swimming pools?
        Do you two take equal exception to the punishment by death, stoning, hanging of women (and sometimes even the men involved too) in cases of matrimonial infidelity?
        Do you two take equal exception to the Islamic punishment by death of homosexuals and apostates?
        Do you two take equal exception to the female mutilation that still goes on EVEN in Britain?
        Do you two take equal exception to Islamic “honour killings” that still go on today, EVEN in Britain.
        Do you two take equal exception to the “Islamic flag over Downing Street/the White House by such as Anjem Choudary? (Am about to post on this, btw)?
        Do you two take equal exception to the “caliphate” ambitions of Islam?

        You’ll probably say “of course we do”. As though that proves your liberal sensibilities, with some kind of fond misconception that those democratic liberal sensibilities will rub off on all Muslims. They won’t. They can’t. It is so written in the unchanging and unchangeable koran, and is unquestionable, even by those who quietly question it. Why quietly? Because to do so loudly means death.

        Got it yet?

        ALL of this is what Islam brings wherever it is allowed to. NONE of this is good. NONE of it. Wilders, on the other hand, is not a bad man, and only states what he sees with his own eyes.

        If you or I said that part of London is filthy now that white non-Muslim trash are all over it, would we be discounted as wrong-headed in everything we have to say about “white trash”?

        Really, you guys and many in this country are sinking in a morass of your own semi-ignorant self-righteousness. Today’s “Nazis”, Stan, are not such as Wilders. It is FUNDAMENTALIST ISLAM.

        Oh, and btw, it is written in the koran that lying is permitted by Allah if it is to progress Allah’s aims.

        Read Robert Spencer’s book on the Koran for Infidels. I’m doing so and it is an eye -opener.

    7. Peter Reynolds Says:

      Stanley! That provoked a broadside of formidable power. Phew! When I’ve dusted myself down and wiped the debris of vituperation and bombast away, I might even have to reply.

    8. Peter Reynolds Says:

      Do? Do? My dear chap, indeed I do! Equal if not greater exception in some of the vile examples that you mention.

      I doubt that it is “written in the Koran” that my “democratic liberal sensibilities” cannot “rub off on all Muslims” but I understand your point.

      Pray, moderate you questioning of your old chum here a little. I do not need you to grab my attention by verbally throttling me until my eyes bulge and I begin to squeal. It is not a pretty sight.

      I do not regard Wilders as a Nazi and I see, very clearly, the dangers of fundamentalist Islam. My concern is to defeat its preposterous ambitions and enable us all to live in peace and harmony. That will not be achieved by recklessly overlooking the sensitivities of millions of moderate Muslims. We need to use intelligence as well as being firm and resolute in our principles.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Peter, it is written in the koran (and this is the point of Spencer’s book – most of us have NO IDEA what is written there) that nothing that comes from Allah, via Mohammed, of course, is alterable. Never. Nothing. THIS is what prevents moderate Muslims from attempting to update it. The junk that is written there has to be seen to be believed. Against my instincts, (I have no awareness of any deity, a requirement for religious belief, I presume), I am reading it, little by boring little. But you see even that is almost worthless, because Muslims tell you that it can only be understood in Arabic. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t, in other words.

        Stan and I almost fell out over Wilders. And I still feel as strongly that he was badly treated by Jacqui Smith, and I always will. There is NO way that a man who does not call for DEATH should be prohibited from entering here, when we have fine examples of death-prophets already in Regents’ Park. Anjem Choudary said “Allah willing, Tony Blair will come back from the Middle East in a body bag … the Pope should be killed … and the Queen removed from Buckingham Palace so it becomes a beautiful mosque.”

        While idiots and would-be murderers like that are allowed to preach their hatred here, the idea that Wilders cannot say what he thinks – that Islam is an evil religion – is not something up with which I shall put, as it were!

        Stan does seem to see those of us who think Islam is questionable as Nazis. Presumably that means me. Whereas I see Islam as it is today in its daily outrages as Nazi. It is a whole different enemy, and not land-based, and that is the difficulty, but it is an enemy nevertheless. The day I see ONE Muslim start an inter-religious organisation like Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation, where he does great work right across faiths, is the day I see Islam as fundamentally good.

        The intelligence we have used thus far has not got us all that far, Peter, don’t you think? Obama’s outstretched hand was spat into.

    9. Peter Reynolds Says:

      So the Koran is full of bollocks. Do you think that surprises me? So is the Bible.

      I think it was entirely wrong for Wilders to be turned away from Britain. I’ve said that to you before. Seems I fall inbetween you and Stan on this one.

      I don’t think anyone regards cuddly old ktbfpm as a Nazi (but it would be great to see you caught in the NOTW with a suitably uniformed dominatrix).

      I think you’re rushing to judgment on Obama’s outstretched hand offer. Allahshandjob is a nutter. That’s accepted. We have to look beyond him while keeping up our guard.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Yes, Peter, to your first observation except for a few points:

        The violence in the Bible is mostly in the Old Testament, the Jewish part.
        Neither Jews nor Christians are urged to kill and subjugate others for God or at least not as part of their raison d’etre.
        And, the King James version, an update a few centuries ago was evidence that Christians DO recognise that “different times, different message”. The koran CANNOT be altered, even though it was written 1600 years ago.
        Also Christians are not expected to learn by heart and recite daily parts of the Bible.
        And how often do we hear of Christian or Jewish jihadists/terrorists?

        The NOTW? Quel? Moi? No chance.

        Seriously though, yes, I am with you, more or less, on Amanutjob. Except that he will be in office now for some years. Just saw this, btw.

        It isn’t only western politicians who know what he is up to.

    10. Stan Says:

      There is a simple pragmatic consideration here. Concentrate your fire against Muslim extremists and you are up against a mere handful.

      Set yourself against Islam as a whole and you are up against the 1.5 billion followers of that religion, with no prospect of enlisting their aid against the extremists.

      As for this remark, “The day I see ONE Muslim start an inter-religious organisation like Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation, where he does great work right across faiths, is the day I see Islam as fundamentally good.”you can google many examples of Muslims involvef in inter-faith initiatives

      http://www.josephinterfaithfoundation.org/

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