The painting "Eminence grise" by François Leclerc du Tremblay
Trust of the Dutch public in judges
An opinion poll shows that only a third of the Dutch public trusts (Dutch) the independence of the Court which is conducting a trial against Geert Wilders. Fully a third DISTRUSTS the Court in the case against Geert Wilders. The trust in judges is generally low too, but not as low as in the Wilder trial. Forty-five percent of those polled generally trusts judges, 20 percent do not. Perhaps those who trust the Amsterdam Court are naive. Read the article and judge for yourself.
Old friends keep in touch
Now one of the witnesses called up by the defense, Orientalist Hans Jansen, reveals on the Hoeiboei blog (Dutch) that on May 3 2010 he was invited by an old friend Bertus Hendriks. Hendriks is a leftist journalist and an activist for the Palestinian cause. Mr. Hendriks invited him for a supper at which "other friends" would be present. They wanted to speak about the Wilders trial and Islam. Later in that week, Professor Jansen was to be heard as an expert-witness by the Court of Amsterdam.
Professor Hans Jansen writes that he turned up early for the supper, a habit "born out of uncertainty". If this reference to fear is not ominious enough Hans Jansen wrote earlier that his friend Hendriks has called him "a representant of a generation whose time is over". Both Jansen and Hendriks are from 1942.
Eminences grises make their appearance
The professor then meets one of the other guests. Justice or Raadsheer Tom Schalken. Justice Schalken is one of the members of the council chamber or raadskamer which ordered the Public Prosecutors (OM) Meester Velleman and Meester Van Roesel to put Geert Wilders on trial for hate speech, discrimination and all that malarky. The justice starts a conversation about Islam. Professor Jansen replies by asking whether he may be arrested for what he says and demands a guarantee he will not get a run in with the law, now that people can be tried and punished for voicing opinions on Islam. They came to the agreement that the professor would not be arrested for what he was going to say that evening. As the other guests arrived several of them turned out to be magistrates as well. All these powers in the land were members of Labour and the Greens or PvdA and GroenLinks as we know them.
Mr. Jansen keeps the rest of the conversation confidential.
The article by Professor Jansen elaborates that if speech is criminalized persuation and thusly politics by persuation becomes difficult.
But the most damning aspect of the episode is that the judges that ordered the trial, tried to influence the trial by influencing one of the witnesses.