On the principle that a good offence is the best kind of defence, Wilders recruited Holland’s most famous lawyer, Bram Moszkowicz, to represent him in any future prosecution. Moszkowicz has been featured before on this blog: he is the one that is filing suit against Harry van Bommel and others, for participating in a virulantly antisemitic Gaza demonstration (scroll down to the update).
Moszkowicz isn’t wasting his time defending Wilders either. He has already announced he will ask the Hoge Raad (High Council) for anullment of the ruling by the Amsterdam court of appaels. This on the grounds that the ruling left little room for conducting a fair trial, since the ruling had already declared Wilders guilty of ‘incitement to hatred’. To be continued…
In the mean time, here are a couple of related links I thought were worthwhile. First, we have Caroline Glick (thanks to Sjaan) seeing parallels in the Wilders prosecution and the IDF’s efforts to protect te identities of its soldiers, to shield them from possible prosecutions for alleged war crimes in Europe.
In an interview with *Ha’aretz* on Friday, Wilders claimed rightly that the Dutch court’s decision to prosecute him was not a legal decision but a political one. And if he is convicted, his conviction won’t be based on evidence. It will be based on the desire of the Dutch multiculturalists to make an example of him to appease the radical Muslims who seek his death, and intimidate any would-be disciples into keeping their mouths shut.
So too, if IDF veterans are indicted for war crimes, they won’t be prosecuted based on facts. They will be persecuted to advance the prosecutors’ and judges’ goal of appeasing their homegrown radical Muslims who seek the destruction of Israel and who violently attack anyone perceived as supporting Israel.
One wishes it weren’t so, but that seems to be an accurate description of our current predicament.
Secondly, we have Arthur Legger on Sappho: Brave New Netherlands. It is a good and thorough report on the state in the Netherlands around the decision to prosecute Wilders. This decision did not arise in a vacuum:
A day before sending Wilders to trial, on the 20th of January 2009, a majority in the Dutch Parliament backed Ernst Hirsch Ballin, secretary of Justice, key member of the Christian Democrat Party (CDA) and orthodox Catholic, in his desire to outlaw every expression that insults any religion and ideology, and/or any of its members. Formally only in effect after its passing by the First Chamber, this bill revived a ‘dead’ law on blasphemy (article 137d) and an old criminal law (article 137c) that was aimed to curb the hate campaigns against Jews by the Dutch Nazi’s in the 1930s (Elsevier, 31/01/09).
The Amsterdam Court, in its 33 pages Wilders-dossier openly sympathetic to the multi-cultural ideology of the Social Democratic Party (Elsevier, 31/01/09), immediately seized the opportunity. “Flaunting the fair trial principle”, professor Afshin Ellian of Leiden University’s Law Faculty stated, “the Court claims that Wilders has intentionally and consciously invoked discrimination, intolerance, contempt against Muslims, to cause fear and hatred. The Amsterdam Court has already sentenced Wilders”(De Volkskrant, 26/01/09). The real sentence by the lower criminal court will merely be “an official rubber stamp of already proven guilt”, Mr. Gerard Spong, leading lawyer and denunciator of Wilders, happily declared (De Volkskrant, 23/01/09).
More importantly, Legger identifies where the true danger lies:
In Holland, however, over the past five years a very close links been forged between “secular” and “religious’, leading to the subsequent curbing of free speech. In so doing, the CDA and the PvdA have changed the political rules and created a different game. Hence the erosion of traditional Dutch liberties observed by the Wall Street Journal observed is not caused by the Muslim immigration but by the desire of the Dutch political, cultural and religious elites to create a new, braver, Netherlands. A nation based on multi-culturalism and confessionalism – and not on the division of powers and freedom of speech.
I can’t stress enough the importance of this conclusion. Yes, jihadists are to be despised and fought. Yes, islam is an ideology up there with the worst of them. But do not get distracted in obsessing over muslims in the Netherlands. Their petulant demands would be so much sound and fury, signifying nothing, if not for the dhimmified elites of PvdA, CDA and all those other charlatans occupying seats in government, parliament, local and provincial councils. They are the real problem.