NOTE: This shows the amount of political ill will directed against Geert Wilders and the PVV.
AMSTERDAM, 26/10/10 – The President of the Supreme Court, Geert Corstens, considers that Party for Freedom (PVV) leader Geert Wilders is undermining jurisprudence in the Netherlands.
Critical statements on jurisprudence such as Wilders has made during the proceedings against him have an “undermining” effect on jurisprudence, particularly as the leader of the PVV is also still a parliamentarian, according to Corstens. MPs should contribute to the stability of the constitutional state, said the president on television programme Buitenhof.
On Friday, a special chamber of the Amsterdam district court ruled that the ongoing case against Wilders must be restarted with other judges. The three sitting judges have shown the appearance of bias.
The lawyers had refused a request by Wilders’ defence to investigate whether an expert witness was put under pressure during a dinner by Tom Schalken. He is one of the judges who gave the order to the Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM) to prosecute Wilders.
The MP is on trial for incitement to hatred, discrimination and insulting of Muslims as a group. Schalken is said to have tried to convince Islam expert Hans Jansen during an informal dinner of Wilders’ guilt.
Corstens now criticises Wilders’ comment that he had landed up “in a legal circus.” The PVV leader said this Friday when commenting on his request for different judges. In the Supreme Court president’s view, such statements “wrongly” nourish feelings among the public that the judiciary is no good.
Wilders thinks Corstens should look in the mirror. He comments that the replacement of the judges shows that he was correct that they were not beyond doubt impartial. “Corstens would be better to worry about judges like Schalken.”
Wilders has meanwhile officially launched proceedings against Schalken for influencing a witness. If the OM does not prosecute the judge, the MP will fight this decision in a district court to try to force the OM to do so after all. It was precisely in this way that Wilders himself landed up on the defendant’s bench.
Schalken has since run into deeper controversy due to a leaked letter that he wrote last week to the President of the Amsterdam Bar Association. In it, he complains that the lawyers who are supposed to demonstrate Wilders’ guilt are amateurs. The letter carries a ‘strictly confidential’ stamp.
Schalken says to the bar association chief that the reputation of the Netherlands is being damaged by the lawyers Ties Prakken (“the Mother Teresa of the squatting movement”), Mohammed Enait and Nico Steijnen (“the Laurel en Hardy of our legal profession”) and Michiel Pestman (“a conceited, arrogant individual”).
One of the many grievous mistakes of the prosecuting lawyers is the conclusion of Enait that Wilders is “a little Hitler.” Such a statement, which the lawyer made in court, goes much further than any statement whatever for which Wilders is on trial, which is disastrous for the credibility of the case, suggests Schalken. He asks the bar association “to take the appropriate measures as you see fit.”