Rettssaken mot Geert Wilders begynte for annen gang mandag, denne gang med nye dommere. Den første runden endte i en juridisk skandale.
Et klageorgan som følger alle rettssaker kom til at dommerne hadde opptrådt uprofesjonelt. Det toppet seg da forsvarsadvokaten til Wilders kunne fortelle at ett av ekspertvitnene, Hans Jansen, hadde møtt en av dommerne ved en middag rett før han skulle i retten. Forsvarsadvokat Bram Moszkowicz ville at Jansen skulle forklare seg om det ble gjort forsøk på påvirkning, da retten nektet grep klageorganet inn og avsatte dommerne.
Thierry Baudet har en grundig gjennomgang av hele saken i City Journal: Thou Shalt Not Offend Islam
A firsthand account of the Dutch trial of Geert Wilders.
Det spesielle med saken er at aktor, Paul Velleman, selv mente det ikke var grunnlag for å reise sak. I sin prosedyre konkluderte han med at ingen av anklagene var juridisk holdbare: Wilders burde ikke blit dømt. Akkurat dette punktet er av interesse for grensene for ytringsfrihet i forhold til islam, også i Norge.
Velleman mente at ingenting av det Wilders har sagt har gått på muslimers menneskenatur. Det er religionen og dens karakter han har berørt og hvis det har gått på muslimer som mennesker har det vært deres oppførsel.
Velleman addressed the three charges against Wilders one by one. The first, recall, was that Wilders had insulted a group, which is forbidden in the Netherlands (as opposed to insulting symbols, books, or religions, which is allowed). However, Velleman pointed out, group insult was punishable only if aimed at individuals; if directed at “intrinsic” qualities of the individuals concerned; and if its contribution to the public debate was “unnecessarily grievous.” Most of Wilders’s statements were not aimed at individuals, Velleman said. And those that were aimed at individuals concerned their behavior, not their intrinsic qualities. (An example was Wilders’s statement that “those Moroccan boys are really violent. They beat up people because of their sexual disposition,” which referred to a particular action of the people in question, not to their intrinsic quality of being Moroccan.)
The second charge was hate speech. A statement formed a punishable incitement to hatred, Velleman continued, when it suggested an unavoidable conflict between people on the basis of their inherent nature, not their conduct. Claiming that there was an intrinsic conflict between Islam and the West, as Wilders had, would thus not be illegal, because Islam is merely a system of thought; things would presumably be different if Wilders had suggested that something in Muslims’ inherent natures would lead inevitably to conflict with others. But in fact, Velleman reminded the court, Wilders had once said, “I still only have something against the religion, not against the people”; he had also said that if Muslims assimilated, they would, in his opinion, be “equal citizens, not a millimeter less than you or me.” Further, Velleman pointed out, when Wilders had argued that “there is a battle going on, and we must defend ourselves”—another statement being held against him—he was clearly referring to an ideological, not physical, battle. Thus on the charge of hate speech, Velleman concluded again that Wilders ought to be acquitted.
Velleman likewise demanded that Wilders be acquitted on the third charge, incitement to discrimination. Here, the proposals of Wilders’s Freedom Party to ban the Koran and Muslim immigration were in question. But these proposals did not constitute incitements to discrimination, Velleman said, because the party did not call on any private person to act on them; rather, it called on the legislature to implement them. The proposals might have been insulting or offensive, but they did not constitute an infringement of the law.
Den første rettssaken ble direkte overført på TV, hvilket bidro til stor oppmerksomhet, også mot alt som skjedde før og etter dommerne kom inn. Den nye sjefsdommeren kjører en mye strammere regi.
Forsvareren Bram Moszkowicz vil at saken avvises som intet straffbart forhold, før den starter.
Wilders fikk igår ordet:
My trial is not an isolated incident. Only fools believe it is. All over Europe multicultural elites are waging total war against their populations. Their goal is to continue the strategy of mass immigration, which will ultimately result in an Islamic Europe — a Europe without freedom: Eurabia.
The lights are going out all over Europe. Anyone who thinks or speaks individually is at risk. Freedom-loving citizens who criticize Islam, or even merely suggest that there is a relationship between Islam and crime or honour killing, must suffer, and are threatened or criminalized. Those who speak the truth are in danger.
Wilders er blitt et internasjonalt symbol. Saken mot ham følges med interesse, også i USA.