Our Flemish correspondent VH sends a report of yesterday’s proceedings in the Geert Wilders trial, based on translated material from the Dutch press. The focus is on the plea by Bram Moszkowicz, who demanded that Wilders’ case should be thrown out, since the court convicted him in advance.
First, from De Volkskrant:
Lawyer Bram Moszkowicz: Wilders has already been convicted
[October 19, 2010] — According to Wilders’ lawyer Bram Moszkowicz, the Public Prosecutor (OM) should not have prosecuted Geert Wilders because he has been convicted already. The court in Amsterdam, according to the counsel, already in January 2009 had concluded that the statements by Wilders were inciting to hatred and discrimination and were insulting. Thereby one of the fundamental rights of a suspect — that he is innocent until proven guilty — has been violated, according to Moszkowicz.
The Public Prosecutor (OM) on Friday demanded a full acquittal for the PVV leader, but Moszkowicz still sees plenty of opportunities to put forward his own views on the matter. […] One of the elements will be that the OM should be declared inadmissible in the prosecution of Wilders, as the lawyer said.
A summary of a continuing twitter report by Saskia Belleman of the newspaper De Telegraaf (on the first part of Tuesday’s plea):
Moszkowicz said today: “I defend a dissident” and “Who would have thought of that, in 2010, in the Netherlands”. He explained that Wilders makes the hatred of others visible, and that ‘Do not shoot the messenger’ is the motto of this trial.
Moszkowicz criticizes the Amsterdam Court of Appeals, which ordered the prosecution. Those judges were unable to curb their personal feelings about someone who was not a suspect: “Shame,” Moszkowicz said. The accused has the right to an honest trial, because he is innocent until the contrary is proved. The Appeal Court however, has labeled non-suspect [beforehand] as a perpetrator. Moszkowicz calls this ‘a serious breach of a fair trial’ and wants the PM to be declared inadmissible.
Moszkowicz also wants the partial inadmissibility of the OM because of Fitna: the words of the imams and others are not Wilders’ own statements. Moreover, Fitna was published on a foreign website [LiveLeak]. Wilders therefore did not commit an offense in the Netherlands: it was not by accident that Fitna was published on an American website. What Wilders is being prosecuted for in the Netherlands is not illegal in the U.S.