Our Dutch correspondent H. Numan offers his thoughts about today’s (actually, yesterday’s) remarkable events in the Geert Wilders trial:
When I wrote to you earlier, because my time is different I only knew about the challenge request. Not that it was granted. This is really unique. It rarely happens a challenge request is granted.
I don’t think more challenge requests have been granted during the last century than people serving life in prison have been pardoned by the queen. It is that rare. In the Netherlands, a life sentence really means ‘until death do us part’ or the queen grants a pardon. This happened about ten times during the last hundred years.
I’m not so sure if this is a victory. Yes, it is a mark of incompetence on the record of those judges. But look at the trial: a bunch of buffoons and clowns trying desperately to make a vigilante trial look prestigious.
The prosecution had already asked for a dismissal of all charges. The lawyers of the accusing parties look like zombies and behave that way.
It was almost a certainty that the court could not do anything else besides dismiss Wilders from prosecution.
It is not Wilders who gets a second chance here, but the court itself. I assume the chief kangaroo Moors would love nothing better than to sentence Wilders personally. But he will be perfectly happy (together with the left-wing opposition) if another kangaroo does it.
A re-trial means, in my opinion, learning from what has happened and making a better pretense that he gets a fair trial.