Thursday, January 21, 2010

Is Truth a defense?

Wilders strategy so far

As I wrote before the crux of the indictment against Wilders' is his comparing the Quran with Mein Kampf. Wilders insisted that the entire indictment was read out. The judges of the trial did not grant this, and allowed the public prosecutor to read a summary, leaving out parts that were doubly quoted in the indictment. Wilders intention must have been to get as much of his quotes verbatim publicized. The advantages he sought are:
1. Islam is shown in its full glory as the Wilders quotes are Quran quotes, red in tooth and claw. This turns Islam into the defendant.
2. The entire indictment speech becomes quotable even after a possible conviction of Wilders for hate speech. The indictment will prove a treasure trove for those who wish to continue to expose the truth about Islam. Wilders is aiming for a tactical advantage here.

The instruction of the Court of Amsterdam provides the indictment

The indictment has been written up by the Public Prosecutor acting on an instruction of the Amsterdam Court. A laywer, Mr. Hiddinga, pointed out on TV yesterday that the instruction by the Court of Amsterdam was written as a indictment. This shows the intent of the Amsterdam Court. For this reason Wilders tries to get the Amsterdam Court declare itself not the designated court for a trial against him on the ground that Dutch procedural law designates the trial to take place at the court in the place where the defendant resides. The public prosecutor argued that Wilders made his attacks on Islam on the national media and therefore the trial can take place anywhere in The Netherlands. It remains to be seen whether the Amsterdam court will indulge Wilders on procedural grounds.

Wilders' defense wants witnesses

Wilders has requested the judges to grant his requests for witnesses for the defense such as Arabists Hans Jansen and Simon Admiraal, in addition to the assassin of Theo van Gogh, Mohammed Bouyeri. He needs these witnesses in order to make his defense that he spoke the truth about Islam and it is absurd to be convicted for speaking a truth.

Truth was no defense in Belgium

In my opinion this will not work. In Belgium the nationalist party Vlaams Belang of Filip Dewinter was convicted for hate speech when they quoted government statistics on immigrant crime. "Truth was no defense" declared the Belgian court. Dutch judges are notoriously procedural. The law says that there are protected classes, classes which are protected due to their ethnicity, gender or religion. The adherents of Islam are one of these protected classes. This follows from the modified article 1 of the Constitution and article 137 of the Penal Code. In 2006 I have pointed out that these articles are similar in they way they work to articles in the Constitution of the Soviet Union. And this trial against Wilders is similar to the Stalin's trials against his enemies of the 1930ies. This trial against Wilders is a political trial. It is a show trial. The intent is to intimidate the Dutch population into acceptance of the Multicultural society and to stop critizising protected classes.

My take on the outcome of the trial

Truth will be no defense. Wilders WILL be convicted if the trial in Amsterdam goes on. The question is whether the judges will impose a heavy punishment on Wilder, such as two years in prison or a symbolic punishment say a 5.000 Euro fine.

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