As I mentioned earlier today, the Public Prosecutor in Amsterdam has extended the charges against Geert Wilders to include inciting hatred against Moroccans and other immigrant groups. The translations are starting to roll in from our indefatigable Flemish correspondent VH, and the first four are below. More will be coming later.
First, from De Volkskrant:
Wilders Summons extended
AMSTERDAM — The Public Prosecutor (OM) has decided on his own to extend the summons against Geert Wilders, to include sowing hatred against Moroccans and non-Western immigrants. Individuals and organizations who filed the complaints against the PVV leader found the private initiative [of the prosecutor] encouraging.
At first, the Public Prosecutor did not want to prosecute Wilders for his utterances against Islam, but last year, the Amsterdam Court ruled that those indeed may be punishable. The prosecution was ordered to prosecute Wilders for inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims and for insulting this group.
Among other things, the OM based the extension of the indictment on Wilders’ statement: “The borders will be closed the same day for all non-Western immigrants.”
“A good move by the Prosecutor,” lawyer Gerard Spong says, one of those who filed complaints against Wilders. “There is talk of advancing insight.”
Lawyer Haroon Raza is “very pleased” with the extension, as well as the [extreme left wing] “anti-racism” organization Nederland Bekent Kleur (Netherlands Admits Color; NBK). Haroon Raza: “With Wilders, it is not only to do with Muslims, but also non-Western immigrants, people of color.”
For a long time NBK has been of the opinion that Wilders also discriminates against ethnic groups. The organization has repeatedly filed complaints against the PVV leader for discriminating against Moroccans, among others.
Spong and Raza consider prosecution for such acts to have a better chance than for sowing hatred against Muslims. “Wilders insists that he is attacking Islam, not Muslims. But with ethnicity it is always about people,” Raza says. “Then you cannot say: that is not what I meant.”
Bram Moszkowicz, Wilders’ lawyer, has been fighting behind closed doors Wednesday against three points of the subpoena. The Public Prosecutor does not want to explain why the indictment has been expanded. “We will explain that at the directional hearing on January 20,” a spokesman explains.
From the courtroom, Geert Wilders reported via Twitter:
North Korean conditions in an icy courtroom. Summons extended. Prosecutor ignores me. Political process. Hirsch Ballin [Minister of Justice, CDA (Christian Democrat)] is satisfied.
“Legal System in North Korea is better than the Netherlands”
Geert Wilders on Wednesday January 13, after the hearing of his objections to the prosecution, returned dreadfully cut up from the court in Amsterdam. “It really is a political persecution,” the politician said. “The prosecutor goes beyond that which the court has decided in the writ. Freedom of expression is under pressure. Even the legal system in North Korea is better than that of the Netherlands. “
Wilders complained about the proceedings of the court. The heating system in the courtroom, for instance, was not functioning. “It was minus two degrees [29°F]. And then the prosecutor, who did not look at me, wiped all our arguments off the table. I hope the court will take up our arguments.”
Asked by a journalist whether he believes he will get an independent trial, Wilders said: “We will see. Until now, it has been a political process. This is terrible.”
Finally, from De Telegraaf
According to his lawyer Bram Moszkowicz, who took one hour to explain the objection to the prosecution in court Wednesday January 13, the court may decide Wednesday afternoon on the acceptance or rejection of the objection.
Wilders may be prosecuted for insulting a group and incitement to hatred and discrimination. Moszkowicz said earlier Wednesday that his client particularly objects to prosecution for group defamation. The PVV leader in his opinion can not be prosecuted for this because the indictment goes beyond the decision the Amsterdam Court made in January last year.
If the objection is upheld, the summons would be adjusted, and then there will be a meeting again in court this Friday. In the case of a rejection, beginning next week a directional hearing of the case against Wilders will be held.