Our intrepid Flemish correspondent VH has been doing some research on the Dutch political machinations that have brought Geert Wilders to the point of being prosecuted for his publicly expressed opinions.
Here are some of VH’s conclusions:
The main instigator might very well be Els Lucas and the Balkenende Cabinet (especially the Minister of Justice Hirsh Ballin) will have a ball today.
The well known Dutch lawyer Gerard Spong, who also was considering charging Wilders, said in January last year: “According to the PvdA [Labour] member Els Lucas of Nauta & Lucas Advocaten (in Lelystad, near Amsterdam), the ‘Openbaar ministerie’ (OM, “Public Prosecutor “) in The Hague refused to prosecute Wilders.”
“Thus Els Lucas filed a complaint at the Chief Public Prosecutor. That Public Prosecutor is specialized in discrimination cases. Of the more than forty notifications that have been filed all over the country — after an article by Wilders in a newspaper [in which he compared the Quran to Mein Kampf] — all are collected there. This did not have the desired result, after which two weeks ago an official complaint has been filed with the College of Attorneys General. The highest body within the OM is studying that now. Within a few weeks a decision can be expected to prosecute Wilders. The OM has announced that the ruling has implications for the handling of all 42 declarations and not only those of Lucas.”
If the OM decided not to prosecute Wilders for discrimination and instigation of hatred, Els Lucas said he would go to the Court. That might force the OM to prosecute Wilders.
The OM decided not to prosecute Wilders:
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“The Dutch Public Prosecution Service is of the opinion that statements made by Mr Wilders in de Volkskrant of August 2007 and his film Fitna are not punishable. He will not be prosecuted for this reason. The fact that statements are hurtful and offensive to a large number of Muslims does not necessarily mean that such statements are punishable. It is true that some statements insult Muslims, but these were made in the context of public debate, which means that the statements are no longer of a punishable nature. The Public Prosecution Service has also concluded that there is no liability to punishment for inciting hatred or discrimination.
Mr Wilders made his statements in de Volkskrant of 7 October 2006, in de Volkskrant of 8 August 2007, in the daily newspaper De Pers of 19 February 2007, and in a column on the Internet. The Public Prosecution Service received over 40 criminal complaints about these statements. Across the country, some dozens of complaints were filed against the film Fitna, which had been released on the Internet on 27 March 2008. The Public Prosecution Service has based its decision on Mr Wilders’s statements and film partly on the advice rendered by the National Discrimination Expertise Centre (LECD).”
Lucas went to Court. Last September the Court in Amsterdam wrote Els Lucas they were studying the possibility of prosecuting Geert Wilders, and forced the OM into political process.
“We will proceed with the order to prosecute,” the press officer of the OM in Amsterdam said, the very same OM that last summer saw no reason to prosecute Wilders. Therefore this prosecution not only has all ingredients of a political process, it is one.
The consequences are far-reaching, apart from the PVV having to spend enormous amounts on lawyers’ fees (which they thus cannot use that for their political work and campaigns).
When the Dutch politician Geert Wilders is prosecuted in the Netherlands, not only do many others in that country risk the same fate, but also dissidents in other countries, whose governments might feel inspired to emulate this wonderful example of dealing with free speech in the “civilized” Free World, pointing at the Balkenende Cabinet in The Netherlands — who finally got a grip on Wilders and thereby let free speech be trampled and destroyed.