Friday, October 22, 2010

Influencing the Witness?

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We have a lot on the latest sensational news in the Geert Wilders case, but I’ll be posting the later material before the earlier, because it is shorter and more urgent.

First, this brief account from Elsevier with the stunning news that one of the judges in the Wilders case may have attempted to influence the expert witness Hans Jansen before the trial. Many thanks to VH for the translation:

Request to challenge the court assigned: new judges for Wilders

[October 22, 2010] The disqualification court has approved the challenge request of the Geert Wilders. Thereby the trial of the PVV leader will be delayed many months.

Geert Wilders’ lawyer Bram Moszkowicz submitted a disqualification request against the judges.

One judge of the Court, Tom Schalken, dined with expert witness Hans Jansen a few days before the trial and spoke on that occasion about the trial against the PVV leader. According to Moszkowicz, Tom Schalken thereby exceed his powers; he should not have been talking about the case may have tried to influence the witness.

Bram Moszkowicz discredits by the judges, as they did not immediately approve to the request to hear the expert witness Mr. Hans Jansen again. The disqualification court supports the conclusion that delay can be seen as a rejection.

According to Moszkowicz the impartiality of the judges is in question, since they in fact are subsidiary to the judges of the Appeal Court, and the Appeal Court had gone too far anyway, because they in fact already convicted Wilders before the judges ruled.

The Appeal Court decided that the OM had to prosecute Wilders. Initially, the Prosecution didn’t want this. Schalken at the dinner had tried to convince Jansen of the necessity of the trial against Wilders.

Wilders has filed a complaint against Tom Schalken. He accuses him of “mafia practices”.[1]


[1] “I wonder what kind of circus I ended up in” said Wilders. “A counselor of the court who ordered my prosecution has attempted to influence an expert witness. I find this a huge mess.” [source: Elsevier]