Sunday, July 10, 2011

Judge who ordered prosecution of Wilders steps down

Who is Tom Schalken?

Chief Justice Tom Schalken is one of the judges for the Court of Amsterdam who ordered the OM (Public Prosecution) to prosecute Geert Wilders for hate crimes. The trial ended a short time ago in a victory for Geert Wilders. The Judges repealed the charges against Mr. Wilders, saying that Mr. Wilders distinguished between Islamic doctrine and Muslims. In his statements Mr. Wilders critizised Islam and not Muslims and that is permissable under the law.

Geert Wilders' defense

During the trial Mr. Wilders defense laywer Mr. Moszkowicz attacked the judges head-on asking for the substitition of the first and the second set of three judges for partisanship. He was successfull the first time. Moreover the laywer attacked Tom Schalken for attempting to influence one of the tree witnesses for the defense: Hans Jansen. During a dinner party before the trial judge Tom Schalken tried to convince the witness that the charges of hate speech against Geert Wilders were well-founded. This led to the dismissal of the first trial.

Trials and tribulations

During the second trial Chief Justice Tom Schalken was called as a witness for the defense. It was an harrowing experience for the judge as he stated last week in daily newspaper NRC Handelsblad.
During the trial I was assaulted with so much hatred and derision, that I am unable to continue my duties as a judge

Schalken also bemoaned the fact that the police questioned him for five hours, investigating charges that he would have tried to influence a key witness.

The end of a Chief Justice

Tom Schalken asked Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands to relieve him of his duties as a judge.

The President of the Court of Amsterdam

In a response the President of the Court of Amsterdam, Mr. Leendert Verheij, criticized Chief Justice Schalken's (NL) remarks:
Individual judges are heavily taxed when they are faced with an avalanche of criticism, which they may regard as unfair. However it is my opinion they have to act responsably. Which means they cannot reply personally. What is certainly deplorable is that judges critisize the work of their fellow judges.
Snouck's Commentary

Tom Schalken's verbiose self-dismissal as a Chief Justice is another victory for those who are opposed to the Islamization of The Netherlands and Political-Correctness that aids the former. Ambitious judges will have taken note of the damage which Mr. Schalken incurred as a result of his defense of PC and Islam. They will be avoid attacking opponents of Islamization unless especially when they appear well-connected an powerful, e.g. if they are connected to Geert Wilders'Freedom Party (PVV).

And the President of the Court of Amsterdam is right to implicitly state that Tom Schalken damaged the esteem in which judges are held.

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