From DutchNews.nl: Wilders’ trial: lawyer again calls for judges to be dismissed
The trial of anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders on inciting hatred charges took a new twist on Friday as his lawyer again applied for the judges to be dismissed.
This week, the three-strong panel of judges have been hearing evidence about a dinner, during which a senior court official is alleged to have tried to influence a witness.
That incident led to the previous judging panel being dismissed last October.
Lawyer Bram Moszkowicz now claims that one of the people at the meal last year – Middle East expert Bertus Hendricks – has lied in court about the alleged attempt to pressure the witness and the reason Arabic professor Hans Jansen was invited to attend.
Moszkowicz also says Hendricks should be charged with perjury. The judges on Friday rejected this request, leading Moszkowicz to call for their dismissal.
That demand will now be looked at by a special legal panel. They are due to report back later on Friday.
At issue is a discrepancy between what Hendriks testified in court and statements he made in the press earlier. In court today he testified that the intended topics of conversation did not include the Wilders trial and Hans Jansen was invited in his capacity as a scholar and critic of islam. He also claimed he did not know Jansen was to testify in the Wilders trial before inviting Jansen to dinner.
Yet, last October, Hendriks stated in an interview with De Pers, that Hans Jansen was invited exactly because he was expert witness in the Wilders trial and that including Jansen ‘ seemed interesting to us’. This would imply that the Wilders trial did feature (high) on the list of discussion topic for that infamous evening.
For Bram Moszkowicz, this was reason to request of the court that charges of perjury against Hendriks be drawn up and an investigation started. The court refused to grant the request, a decision which Moszkowicz qualified as ‘unsound, incomprehensible and arousing the appearance of prejudice’ on the courts part. Hence the motion to dismiss this court of judges as well.
I’ll update if more news comes out later tonight. Stay tuned!
(Part of this text is based on the VK liveblog for today, here; NL)
[UPDATE001] Via Elsevier (NL): Public prosecutor sees no reason for dismissal. Ruling postponed until Monday. The judges against whom the motion to dismiss were filed wanted the case tried a considerable time after the weekend to have the time to formulate an answer to the motion made by Wilders’ lawyer, Bram Moszkowicz. The panel judging the motion did not agree and treated the case immediately. The ruling is set for next Monday, 16:00 hours.
[UPDATE002] Gates of Vienna is covering here.